Police Try To Arrest Youth Activists

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We are demanding human rights and justice, and their response is to try and arrest us, said an activist.

By KANTARAWADDY TIMES

Police visited and search the family homes of youth activists opposed to a statue of Gen Aung San in Loikaw in Karenni State during a failed attempt to arrest them.

Ma Shar Myar, sister of youth leader, Khu Reedu, told the Kantarawaddy Times when the police arrived at her doorstep last week in uniform, carrying weapons her mother broke down in tears. “My mother asked them why they came to our house!”

Police want to arrest the 6 youth for releasing a statement in opposition to the statue they see as a form of “Burmanization” in a region populated by mostly ethnic Karenni.

Youth activist, Khu Kyu Phae Kay, said they weren’t notified by authorities that they wanted to arrest them prior to the visit by police.

“They are watching our homes very closely. Village authorities are questioning our families, trying to put pressure on us!”

We demand human rights and justice, and their response is to try and arrest us, Khu Kyu Phae Kay said.

Despite this, activists have vowed to continue their actions that they say is for the betterment of the state.

Khu Kyu Phae Kay said police called by phone on May 20 asking that they turn themselves in.

Not wanting to create undue stress on their families, the activists have agreed to face trial.

The statement that was released by the activists in late March described certain elected officials as “political criminals” and “traitors of the Karenni nation.”

The statement came after thousands of youth staged a series of protests against the statue that since has been erected in a public park in Loikaw. During demonstrations, police fired rubber bullets at a crowd, injuring protesters.

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