Friends and colleagues said that the Myanmar security forces arrested one of the main leaders of the anti-military rule movement on Thursday, and he hit him with a car while leading a motorcycle protest rally.
Opponents of the Feb. 1 coup that ousted an elected government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi have kept up their campaign against the military this traditional New Year week with marches and various other shows of defiance.
“Our brother Wai Moe Naing was arrested. His motorbike was hit by an unmarked police car,” Win Zaw Khiang, a member of a protest organising group, said on social media.
Wai Moe Naing, a 25-year-old Muslim, has emerged as one of the most high-profile leaders of opposition to the coup.
Earlier, Reuters spoke to him on the phone as he was preparing to rally in Monywa, a central town about 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of the main city of Yangon. A video posted on social media showed an oncoming car turning to a group of motorcycles. A spokesperson for the military government could not be reached for comment.
Monywa has been one of main centres of the pro-democracy campaign with big rallies day after day and repeated crackdowns by the security forces. Some colleagues said they feared for Wai Moe Naing s safety.
The Swedish embassy said it was following his case and urged that all detainees be allowed proper health care and their human rights be respected. The U.S. Embassy also condemned the reported incident. “This appalling act further demonstrates why the people of Myanmar do not accept the military regime,” the embassy said in a post on Twitter.