The NGO considers that the kidnapping could be a “planned operation” and warns of the danger Thuzar Maung faces
July 17 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Malaysian government to prioritize the investigation into the kidnapping of the Burmese activist Thuzar Maung and her family, who were refugees in the country.
“On July 4, 2023, unidentified men abducted Thuzar Maung, 46, her husband Than Tin Win, 43, her daughter Poeh Khing Maung, 16, her sons Aung Myint Maung, 21, and Thukha Maung, 17, at his residence in Ampang Jaya (Kuala Lumpur), as confirmed by witnesses and security camera images,” HRW Asia director Elaine Pearson said in a statement.
“The Malaysian government should act urgently to locate the family and ensure their safety,” Pearson added.
The organization has explained that Thuzar Maung is an “honest supporter of the pro-democracy movement in Burma”, and fears that the kidnapping is a “planned operation”, in which case they are in “grave danger”.
The same day of the kidnapping, a car entered the community where the family lived, claiming to be police officers. A few hours later, a friend of Maung’s was talking to her on the phone when he heard that unknown men were breaking into her house. Later, the call was disconnected. No signs of theft have been detected.
After that, the security cameras captured the supposed police car and the two family cars leaving the premises; the authorities have already assured that the car does not belong to the Police, and that its license plate is false.
Maung is a “long-standing” democracy activist in Burma, according to HRW, and chaired the Burma Muslim Refugee Community and the Burma Migrant Workers Committee, as well as having collaborated with Burma’s Government of National Unity.
The activist fled to Malaysia in 2015 after the increase in violence against Muslims in Burma, and her entire family is recognized as refugees by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“Foreign governments should put pressure on the Malaysian authorities to quickly discover the location of the family. Burmese activists are apparently at risk even when they criticize the Burmese military junta from the country where they have sought asylum,” Pearson insisted.