The Arakan Army (AA) will continue holding a Chin State parliamentarian in its custody, a representative from the group has said.
Khine Thukha, an AA spokesperson, told Khonumthung that they are not planning to release Hawi Tin yet, who has been in AA custody since November 3. He was arrested while traveling from Paletwa—the township he represents—to Kyauktaw in Rakhine State to attend a meeting of the Upper House of Parliament.
“[Hawi Tin] is a threat to us as someone who is challenging our security,” Khine Thukha told said. “We will continue to detain him until the situation is stable. Currently, we don’t have any plans to release him.”
He added that the parliamentarian is in good health.
On December 3, to mark one month in detention, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) has launched a “Free Hawi Tin” online campaign, calling the release of the MP and other Chin detainees from AA custody.
Mai Thinn Yu Mon, who works with CHRO, told Khonumthung News that the campaign has a hashtag and posters that can replace Facebook profile pictures.
Coordinator of the Khumi Chin Affairs Coordination Council Saw Mya backed the call for Hawi Tin’s release.
“It’s not good to arrest a parliamentarian without any proof [of wrongdoing],” he said. “They should release him as soon as possible.”
The AA originally arrested Hawi Tin along with two translators, two speedboat drivers, and five Indian nationals who were working on the construction of the Paletwa-Zorampwi road, as part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. All of the other detainees were later released.