Monday, May 11, 2009

Arbitrary arrest of Kachin Baptist youth leader - Hkalen Zau Nan

Written by KNG

A Kachin Baptist youth leader, Hkalen Zau Nan has been detained in a prison cell in Waingmaw town in Burma's northern Kachin State even though he has not committed any crime, said local sources.

Zau Nan is a youth secretary of the Shatapru Baptist Church, one of largest churches in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State. He was arrested from his home in Shatapru on May 6 by policemen from Waingmaw, said Shatapru residents.

According to a local Baptist youth, Zau Nan was detained by Waingmaw police after the murder of a motorcycle-carry owner Maung Ming Maung or Win Bo, 28, who died of stab injuries on his back on the road towards Nawng Hkying village from Waingmaw town. He was suspected to have been stabbed by his passenger.

Sources close to Zau Nan said the police arrested Zau Nan from his home in Shatapru near Nawng Hkying divided by the Irrawaddy River because they found Zau Nan's high school student identity card four feet from Win Bo's body.

Zau Nan had lost his ID card over six years ago. Now Zau Nan is a graduate student studying his Bachelor of Art and Religious Studies (BARS) in the Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT) in Insein Township in Rangoon, said Shatapru Baptist Church's sources.

Local Baptist youths believe that the arrest of Zau Nan was made intentionally on the orders of the Burmese military authorities as part of the spiritual warfare on Kachin youths, local Baptist youths told KNG today.

Zau Nan has no criminal record and he is kind, simple and a very religious young man, said his colleagues from the Church.

The Baptist youths in Shatapru Church are seething in anger and upset about the arrest of their innocent secretary Hkalen Zau Nan by the Waingmaw police, said a local Baptist youth.

The youths in Shatapru are watched by Burmese military intelligence because the quarter is dominated by Kachins. There have been conflicts often between them in the quarter, according to a local youth.

In prison cells in police stations and government jails in Myitkyina, there are mainly Kachin youths, said people who recently visited the prison cell in No. 1 Police Station and Zion Jail in town.

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