An innocent villager from Yi Hku village in Pangsai, (or Kyukok) Township, northern Shan State, who was arbitrary arrested by the Burmese military on July 1, is still missing even though authorities claim they released him.
Galau Bawm Yaw and 26 men from Yi Hku village were arrested by government troops who suspected them of being in contact with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
According to a local villager, the men were arrested following a clash between Burmese Battalion 109, 123, and 45 and KIA Battalion 36 on the morning of July 1. Government troops took them to the Pangsai police station and released most of them the same night after a headman lobbied on their behalf.
But Galau Bawm Yaw’s wife says her husband is still missing.
“I haven’t heard from him since they arrested him. There were rumors he was released on July 3. The village headman thought he was free but I didn’t see him. I don’t know what happened but suspect the Burmese military troops executed him and are lying to me. But I want to know if he really died or not. I need to see his body to know the truth,” said Galau Bawm Yaw’s wife.
Two Chinese men, Jau Fa Ying and Jau Fa Ning, were also arrested. They were held by Burmese authorities for longer than the others people who were detained. The two men said they were tortured. Burmese soldiers covered their heads with a rag and burned them with candles, hot knives and cigarettes. The soldiers asked them if they were in contact with the KIA.
According to a local villager the two men were released on July 4 when Burmese soldiers realized they were Chinese and not Kachin.
“The Chinese men had several wounds on their bodies when they were released. The next day they went to the Pangsai hospital for x-rays. One of Jau Fa Ning’s bones was fractured,” said the villager.
The local village head who appealed for the release of the 26 men was also arrested and beaten by Burmese soldiers. When he was released he had a head wound.
Meanwhile Galau Bawm Yaw’s family members and his relatives are still searching for the missing man around Pangsai (Kyukok), said a local villager.
Most of the villagers from Yi Hku have moved to Pangsai (Kyukok) Baptist Church IDPs Camp because of daily fighting between the KIA and Burmese military.
Ms. Hkawn Ja who’s responsible for assisting the internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the camp says they are receiving some support but lack sufficient food and medicine for the 241 people they are sheltering.