Naypyitaw [Myanmar], April 25 (ANI): Hundreds of people in Myanmar are being held in undisclosed locations throughout the country since the military coup, leading to speculations that they may not be alive.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the arrests are both targeted and random, sweeping up politicians, protesters and anyone in their orbit, intended to crush opposition to the military's seizure of power.
At least 2,500 out of over 3,000 people currently detained are in locations that have not been disclosed to families, lawyers or human rights groups, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit organisation.
Lawyers and human rights researchers have described frantic in-person quests from one detention centre to another, searching for sympathetic guards who might be willing to share prisoner lists and filing letters demanding confirmation of their clients' whereabouts.
"It's very hard to find the people grabbed from their homes because the police often deny that they're in their custody," said Khin Maung Zaw, a spokesman for the Independent Lawyers Association of Myanmar.
As violence continues to intensify in Myanmar, 740 people have been confirmed to be killed since the military takeover on February 1, according to AAPP.
The military has not responded to questions on the detentions. Announcements made by the regime in state media have claimed that the reports about deaths and arrests have been 'exaggerated', WSJ reported.
During a broadcast each night, the military regime announces the addition of at least 20 people to its list of wanted individuals, sending many into hiding.
"In the beginning ,they [the regime] were careful, there weren't a lot of pictures or evidence. But now they're televising it, you can clearly see that people who were detained were beaten up," said Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, a senior advocacy officer for the Burma Campaign UK, whose father was detained on February 1, the day of the coup.
Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have urged the head of Myanmar's military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who took power in a coup on February 1, to end the violent crackdown in the country.
This includes: there shall be an "immediate cessation of violence" and restraint by all parties; all parties shall commence "constructive dialogue" toward "a peaceful solution in the interests of the people"; a special envoy of the ASEAN chair shall mediate the dialogue; ASEAN shall provide humanitarian assistance, and the special envoy and delegation shall visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.
On February 1, the Myanmar military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence. (ANI)