Nine Shwe Gas Campaigners Detained and Interrogated in Rangoon

Yangon: Nine activists in the campaign against the Shwe Gas Project were briefly detained and interrogated by local authorities in Tharkaeta Township on Thursday while they were running the campaign in the area, said one of the activists, Daw Mar Mar.

“Nine of us were taken and interrogated by the local authorities while we were holding the campaign in Rangoon’s Tharkaeta as part of the Global Campaign against the Shwe Gas Project that was held internationally today,” said Daw Mar Mar.

Daw Mar Mar said she and four other activists were first arrested and taken to the village administration office in the township by a team of authorities, which included U San Maung, an officer of the township administration, the village administrator, and a police detective, while they were distributing t-shirts and brochures that feature information on the Arakanese families in the village.

“Five of us were first arrested and kept in the village administration office and after 20 minutes, they brought another four people who were wearing the campaign’s t-shirts to the office and asked us why we were holding the campaign, and told us that we got entangled with the law because we had distributed illegal papers among the public,” she said.

She added that they were arrested around 8 am and released after 1 pm after the authorities in the township administration office made them sign a statement claiming responsibility for the campaign.

“When we were in the village administration office, some officers of the special branch police came into the office and interrogated us and reported to their higher authorities, and then they brought us to the Tharkaeta Township administration office and released us as after making us sign that we were responsible for the campaign,” said Daw Mar Mar.

She said over 300 people had actively participated in their campaign by wearing the t-shirts that bear the slogan, “Our Gas, Our Future”.