Saturday, 19 April 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burma’s border security force Nasaka arrested seven supporters of the National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) on November 4, just three days ahead of Burma’s first national election in more than 20 years, said a politician from south Maungdaw.

The detained have been identified as Aman Ullah, 40, Ibrahim, 40, Mohmed Ali, 50, and Rafique, 28, all from Aley Than Kyaw village, two from Myint Hlut and one from Du Nyaungpin gyi in Maungdaw Township, and are reportedly still being held at Nasaka Camp 7 in Aley Than Kyaw.

“It is unknown why they were arrested, but they were taken into custody after the deputy director of Nasaka’s deputy director visited the area,” a village elder said.

“Most of our villagers support the NDPD party and their campaign platform, and they don’t support the USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party), so the government has harassed NDPD supporters
ahead of the election.”

He also says, “Mostly villagers support the NDPD party and their program, but people don’t support USDP, so the government starts to harass the supporters of NDPD before elections.”

The deputy director of Nasaka held a meeting in Aley Than Kyaw on the day of the arrests and told villagers to support the USDP and not to engage in vote rigging during the election, the elder said.

A member of the USDP also said that authorities would be reviewing all villagers after the election to determine which party they supported.