A Chin youth who was released by the Arakan Army (AA) said the ethnic armed organization (EAO) accused him of writing negative stories about the group in the press.
“They accused me of disturbing their operations. They said I worked for a Khumi media group and that I was connected with the Burma Army,” Salai Aung Soe told Khonumthung News.
AA soldiers arrested him and three other Chin youth near Nga Tharai village in Kyauktaw Township on July 29. The youth were traveling to Paletwa town in southern Chin State from Kyauktaw town. AA released the other youth on August 25 but kept Salai Aung Soe until December 15. All the time denying they abducted him.
The youth wasn’t beaten during his 138 days in captivity at AA’s detention camp. Salai Aung Soe explained that rank and file soldiers received orders from their superiors not to harm him.
The youth denied working for Khumi media or having any affiliation with the Burma Army. He said AA shouldn’t abduct civilians based only on suspicion.
“We waited so long for his release…We’re very happy for him and his family,” Salai Pai Nan, Khumi Affairs Coordination Committee’s (KACC) coordinator, told Khonumthung News.
According to the KACC, the EAO abducted 105 civilians in Paletwa Township between 2015-20. AA released 84 prisoners, but 21 remain in its detention camps.