Mingala Taungnyunt MP who called for nationalists to be detained gets police detail after series of threats

Phyu Phyu Thin (L) accepting a donation to the N.A.C., the NLD’S HIV/AIDS treatment center. Photo: Facebook / Phyu Phyu Thin
Phyu Phyu Thin (L) accepting a donation to the N.A.C., the NLD’S HIV/AIDS treatment center. Photo: Facebook / Phyu Phyu Thin

A Mingala Taungnyunt MP has been given a police detail after receiving threats for her role in the incident that occurred last week and left one man severely injured.

On May 9, a mob of Buddhist nationalists gathered in front of an apartment in Mingala Taungnyunt and claimed that two ‘illegal’ Rohingya Muslims were being housed there. However, authorities searched the apartment and confirmed that everyone living there was doing so legally. Although police eventually fired warning shots to disperse the crowd, one Muslim man was severely beaten and had to be hospitalized. Following the incident, NLD MP Phyu Phyu Thin called on Yangon governmental authorities to prosecute the individuals who lead the mob on such groundless accusations.

Ever since filing her complaint on May 10, Phyu Phyu Thin has been receiving threats in the form of texts and Facebook messages. On Monday, 7Day spoke to an NLD representative from Mingala Taungnyunt who confirmed, “Ever since the day after the quarrel up to today, she’s been getting threats telling her, ‘Be careful of Kyi Lin’s who might pop out, Ma Mae Mae’.” Ma Mae Mae is a derogatory nickname that the harassers have been calling Phyu Phyu Thin in reference to her supposedly dark skin (‘mae’ means ‘black’ or ‘dark’). And the mention of ‘Kyi Lin’s’ is a reference to the gunman who assassinated NLD legal advisor Ko Ni outside the Yangon International Airport in January.

After reporting the harassment, officers from the South Okkalapa Police Station were stationed to Phyu Phyu Thin’s home. Police security has also been provided at her office in Mingala Taungnyunt, including during her commutes to and from work.

In addition to her governmental work, the MP is also an outspoken HIV/AIDS activist. In 2007, she was arrested and held for over a month for organizing a prayer rally that campaigned for the release of then-detained Aung San Suu Kyi.

Seven nationalists, including two monks, have been charged in conjunction with the May 9 incident.

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