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Photo: The arrested activists in a detention camp. Left: unknown person; Middle: Khaing Thinzar; Right: EI Phyu Phyu Myint.

UNI Global Union supports the demand by the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) for the release of two young female trade unionists who were attacked and detained by soldiers after taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the military regime.

According to an eyewitness, Khaing Thinzar, head of communications at CTUM, and Ei Phyu Phyu Myint, member of the Industrial Workers Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), were ambushed as they took a taxi home after attending the protest on the outskirts of Yangon on 20 April. A car rammed into their vehicle and six soldiers then leapt out of the car, seized the women and beat them before taking them and the driver into custody.

“UNI stands with CTUM and the entire labour movement in Myanmar in condemning this vicious attack on these brave, young women and we join the calls for their immediate release. The brutality of the military junta in Myanmar continues but the people’s courage in fighting for democracy is as strong as ever and we support them,” said UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman.  

More than a thousand people have been murdered since the military junta took power, and 10,271 have been put in detention and 59 people sentenced to death – including two children, reports the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

UNI trade union affiliates from the Asia and Pacific region endorsed a statement denouncing the coup in Myanmar at its Executive Committee meeting, which ran from 20 to 21 April. The statement calls upon the leaders in the region and the ASEAN leaders to increase pressure on the Myanmar junta to immediately hand back power to the elected civilian leaders of the people of Myanmar. 

The 20 April demonstration was organized by the members of the Myanmar Labor Alliance, the CTUM and IWFM in protest at the Min Aung Hlaing regime.

UNI Asia & Pacific