12/14/2019 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Chin State parliamentarian Hawi Tin was abducted by the Arakan Army (AA) on November 3, when he was traveling from Paletwa—the township he represents—to Kyauktaw in Rakhine State to attend a meeting of the Upper House of Parliament.
The kidnapped lawmaker comes from the Chin ethnic minority, which has over 90% adhering to Christianity and a historic rivalry with Buddhist Rakhines.
22 international NGOs joined Chin Human Rights Organization on November 18 to urge the AA to immediately and unconditionally release U Hawi Tin and 12 Chin people who are still detained. There have also been negotiations in private to push for his release, yet Khonumthung News reports that he is still held by the AA.
Khine Thukha, an AA spokesperson, told Khonumthung that they are not planning to release Hawi Tin yet, for he “is a threat to us as someone who is challenging our security,” Khine Thukha said. “We will continue to detain him until the situation is stable. Currently, we don’t have any plans to release him,” he added, before stating that the parliamentarian is in good health.
Coordinator of the Khumi Chin Affairs Coordination Council Saw Mya calls for Hawi Tin’s release, “It’s not good to arrest a parliamentarian without any proof [of wrongdoing], they should release him as soon as possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hawi Tin’s loved ones are concerned for his safety.
“I don’t know what to tell the kids when they ask about their father,” Hawi Tin’s wife, Khin Ei Sint, told Reuters by telephone.
“I just want the government to rescue him and help return him home,” she said.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].