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Fearing Junta, Hundreds of Myanmar Parents Disown Dissident Children

Targeting families of opposition activists was a tactic used by Myanmar’s military during unrest in 2007
Fearing junta, hundreds of Myanmar parents disown dissident children
Lin Lin Bo Bo, whose parents cut ties with him, shows his tattoo to mark the Myanmar Spring revolution, at Thai-Myanmar border, January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Every day for the last three months, an average of six or seven families in Myanmar have posted notices in the country's state-owned newspapers cutting ties with sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren who have publicly opposed the ruling military junta.

The notices started to appear in such numbers in November after the army, which seized power from Myanmar's democratically elected government a year ago, announced it would take over properties of its opponents and arrest people giving shelter to protesters. Scores of raids on homes followed.

Lin Lin Bo Bo, a former car salesman who joined an armed group resisting military rule, was one of those disowned by his parents in about 570 notices reviewed by Reuters.

"We declare we have disowned Lin Lin Bo Bo because he never listened to his parents' will," said the notice posted by his parents, San Win and Tin Tin Soe, in state-owned newspaper The Mirror in November.

Speaking to Reuters from a Thai border town where he is living after fleeing Myanmar, the 26-year-old said his mother had told him she was disowning him after soldiers came to their family home searching for him. A few days later, he said he cried as he read the notice in the paper.

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