Police in Mandalay detained the mother of a suspected People’s Defence Force (PDF) member earlier this month after he evaded arrest, two of the family’s neighbours have told Myanmar Now.
Daw Nilar, 54, was taken away on March 2 when 50 police officers arrived at her house in the Yadanar Su neighbourhood of Chanayethazan Township in search of her son, 34-year-old Wai Yan Soe.
The two neighbours said they had been told by a police officer that Daw Nilar was transferred to Mandalay’s Obo Prison, though they did not know where she was held before then or what charges she was facing.
“She was taken in for questioning about her son and she hasn’t been released yet. She’s not in very good health. We haven’t been able to contact her,” said one of the neighbours. “They are actually such a quiet and friendly family.”
Daw Nilar was detained briefly in February along with her daughter when police first came to their home in search of Wai Yan Soe. The pair were interrogated for a day at the Mandalay Regional Police Station and then released.
The daughter was not at home when police arrived the second time and so avoided being arrested.
Daw Nilar is a widow and had been living in the house with just her two children before Wai Yan Soe left recently, telling his relatives that he was going on a trip, the neighbours said.
Detaining the relatives of activists and resistance fighters who evade arrest is a common tactic of the junta. “We’ve been hearing about a lot of cases like this,” said the neighbour.
In November, the junta’s forces arrested the 50-year-old mother of Hein Htet, a Mandalay engineering student accused of joining the PDF. Khin Aye Maw was later charged with a terrorism offence and is being held at Obo Prison.