Army ‘kidnaps under-age conscript in Yangon’


Allegations have been made that a 17-year-old boy was forced to join the military. Here, a boy wearing white shirt (R), who was discharged from the Myanmar army, walks past a security official as he leaves after the ceremony of handover for discharged minors to parents or guardians in Yangon, Myanmar, January 18, 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Two men were forcibly recruited by the Myanmar military in Yangon recently when they went to look for work but one managed to escape, according to a report by the Kantarawaddy Times and Burma News International on February 25.

The newspaper said U Tun Reh, 30, and his companion, Byar Reh, 17, both from Demawso Township in Kayah State, were kidnapped on February 17.

U Tun Reh told Kantarawaddy Times that the two of them had been working in Yangon for a light company and had been threatened by other workers there. Because they could not speak Myanmar well they were scared and ran away intent on returning home.

The two men met a man on a Yangon street on January 8 who said he would take them to the bus terminal, but instead took them to government army base in North Dagon Township, where U Tun Reh managed to escape.

Seventeen-year-old Byar Reh is said to be missing. His parents have filed a report with township police and the Karenni National Progressive Party.

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