Families of Myanmar Activists Publicly Disown them Out of Persecution Fears

The number of families in Myanmar disowning members of their family who have publicly opposed the ruling military junta has reached an average of six per day since it started three months ago, international news agencies reported

The country’s state-owned newspapers started publishing notices from parents and grandparents cutting ties with their dissident children, grandchildren, even nieces, and nephews after the army announced it would take over the properties of its opponents and arrest people giving shelter to protesters. 

According to Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, senior advocacy officer at rights group Burma Campaign UK, targeting families of opposition activists was a tactic used by the military during the unrest in 2007 and the late 1980s but has been used far more frequently since February 1, 2021 coup.

“Family members are scared to be implicated in crimes. They don’t want to be arrested, and they don’t want to be in trouble,” Pwint Thon said.

In November, military spokesman Zaw Min Tun said that people who made such declarations in newspapers could still be charged if found to be supporting opposition to the junta.

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