Detained Kachin pastors transferred to Muse Police Station

Two pastors from the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) have been transferred to Muse Myoma Police Station after they were forcibly detained by the Burma Army in Mong Ko, northern Shan State and they have been allowed to meet with their families and officials from the KBC.

The two pastors – Dumdaw Nawng Lat, 65, and Langjaw Gam Seng, 35, – were detained by the Burma Army in Mong Ko on 24 December on suspicion of assisting the ethnic armed groups.

Sara Zau Ra, secretary of the KBC from Mong Maung Zon area who visited the two pastors, told Kachin News that they were in good health.

“Both of them seem to be in good health but they have been feeling very sad. They said they have not been beaten,” said Sara Zau Ra.

According to him, the two pastors were detained at the base of Infantry Battalion 123 in Nampaka from 24 December to 22 January before they were transferred to the Muse Police Station. The police officials told him that the two men are being detained without any official charges as the police still have not received any orders from the higher authorities.

The pastors were allowed to meet with their families on Monday.

“The KBC will only know how to make the demand to the Burmese government after the Burma Army reveals the charges [filed against the two pastors] to the police station. They haven’t revealed anything yet,” he added.

The two pastors have been accused of taking part in the praying ceremony for the establishment of the KIA’s new Brigade 6 in February 2016, contacting foreign media and tainting the honour of the Burma Army, and assisting the rebels.

However, the KBC announced on 24 December that all the KBC members in Mong Koe can guarantee that the two pastors were not related to any ethnic armed groups and they have been dutifully serving their works.

The Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights have also recently demanded Burma to either release the two pastors from unlawful arrest or take charges against them in line with the law.

Although the Burma Army denied the detention of the two pastors at first, they officially admitted their arrest on the night of 19 January after the demands were made by both the KBC and international human rights organizations.

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