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Blogger mysteriously missing; authorities deny arresting him

(Mizzima/IFEX) - The Burmese blogger, Nay Phone Latt, allegedly arrested by the police on 29 January 2008, has mysteriously gone missing, according to his mother, Daw Aye Aye Than.

Daw Aye Aye Than said her son's whereabouts could not be confirmed as the authorities have denied detaining him.

"We went to the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Tingankyun and Thuwana police stations to inquire about him, but all the authorities would tell us was - they don't know him and he is not here," Daw Aye Aye Than said.

She said her son left home on that day at about 12:00 p.m. (local time). When the family tried to contact him on his cell phone at about 1:00 p.m., he could not be reached.

"And at around 2:30 p.m. the authorities came to our house but did not ask for Nay Phone Latt. They looked around the house. So I think he must have been arrested before they came to us," Daw Aye Aye Than told Mizzima.

She added that the police team led by Maj. Hein Htet did not state what they were looking for, but the manner of the search suggested they were looking for someone in hiding.

Daw Aye Aye Than said she is worried for her son and could not understand why he has disappeared.

"I am very sad for this kind of unlawful action, I don't understand why they (authorities) are doing this to my son because he is not involved in any illegal activities and does all his work openly," she said.

Nay Phone Latt has a blogsite, http://www.nayphonelatt.blogspot.com . Many of his colleagues believe he has been arrested by police, although there are no eyewitnesses attesting to this.

Some friends said he was taken away from an Internet café in Thingan Kyun township in Rangoon. However, his mother's version of events appeared to indicate that he was arrested while on the road. Neither version can be independently verified.

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