In less than a week, regime forces have arrested at least 20 women in Indaw Township, Sagaing Region.
According to a member of the Indaw People Defence Force (PDF), which is fighting the military, the arrests started after soldiers detained two men at a checkpoint in Indaw town near the border with Kachin State on 3 March.
“Most of them are women vendors,” the officer said, while the others joined the Civil Disobedience Movement against the military regime. The soldiers arrested some in their homes and others when they were selling something, he told KNG.
In comparison, between February 2021 and December 2022 the junta arrested only 10 women in the township.
So far, all the arrested women have been charged under Article 505 (a) and (b) and Counter-Terrorism Law for allegedly supporting the resistance forces or joining the protest movement against the regime.
Another PDF officer told KNG that of the 30 women behind bars in the township only one has been convicted, for sedition under Article 505 (a).
Since the imposition of martial law in Indaw in February, the military has launched an offensive in the township.
“There is no safety for women in Indaw. Burma army soldiers have been raping women and we don’t feel safe travelling in the township,” a local told KNG, declining to give her name for fear of reprisals.
According to the Women League of Burma, 2,363 women were arrested across the country after the coup until December 2022.