A Kachin man who was arrested by the Burmese military Battalion 125 is now being forced to work as a porter, according to a Chinese man who was also detained.
Slg. Maran Yaw Han from Namsu village in northern Shan state was arrested under suspicion of being connected with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on July 24.
Hong Si, a Chinese man from the same village, told a villager after his release both were beaten and forced to carry the soldiers’ equipment at the frontline.
“They were beaten when they denied having connections to the KIA. Hong Si was left on the road after he couldn’t walk anymore. But Yaw Han is still being held by the soldiers,” the villager told the Kachin News Group (KNG).
At the time of Yaw Han's arrest, the soldiers briefly detained his wife, Labang Bawk Hkawn, in a Chinese household. But she was released after a village deacon intervened.
Labang Bawk Hkawn and other family members are worried after finding out he's being forced to work as a porter.
The Burmese military have been using the Act 17/1, which forbids any contact with an illegal association, in order to arrest and intimidate civilians in Kachin and northern Shan state.
Galau Bawm Yaw, who is also from northern Shan state, was arrested by the military under Act17/1, on July 1. His corpse was recently discovered in a ditch near a Burmese military post. Villagers suspect Galau Bawm Yaw was brutally tortured after finding injuries all over his body.