Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi Region

February 19, 2024

HURFOM, Third Week of February 2024

Over the last week, the military junta intensified and scaled up its attacks against civilians. In retaliation for the widespread support of the resistance movement, the Burma Army is targeting innocent civilians.

Dozens have been arbitrarily arrested and detained on baseless allegations and are charged in a legal system with no legitimate basis. Many have been forced into confessions and are tortured in the process. The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) continues to monitor the situation closely.

The number of those arrested has sharply increased since the beginning of 2024. One local who was detained in Thanbyuzayat by the Burma Army was accused of supporting the local resistance forces in Mon State on 10 February 2024. The victim, age 43 years old and a motorcycle repairman was arrested in the evening by junta forces. The regime continues to crack down on fundamental rights and freedoms, including participation in protests.

The soldiers alleged that Mya Than joined peaceful demonstrations and sent weapons and food to the Ye Township local resistance group. He was prosecuted at the police station under Pa 26/2024, Section 50(j)/50(i)/52(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

At least 100 people accused of being related to the person supporting the National Unity Government (NUG) and/or the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) were detained. Most of them were released in Thanbyuzayat, Mon State.

On January 10th, the junta forces raided and abducted the home of a former police officer, Ko Wa Taut, from the Aung Mingalar ward, Thanbyuzayat. Then, on January 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, seven residents of Thanbyuzayat town were again captured on allegations that they were involved with the PDF.

Phaung Taw village’s former administrator, U Khin Maung Than, and a Kanbauk village villager, Ko Kyaw Set Lin, were also arbitrarily arrested by the Mawrawaddy Navy in Yebyu, Dawei.   U Khin Maung Than was the administrator of the NLD government in Phaung Taw village for five years, and was captured on the night of February 10th at midnight.

Ko Kyaw Set Lin was taken on the morning of February 11th, according to the sources close to him. The junta troops had visited the home of U Khin Maung Than, who retired as administrator after the coup, at least four times.

The Navy has been arresting residents of Kanbauk continuously since December last year. At the beginning of this month, they started searching homes and confiscating cell phones if they were suspicious. During the third week of December last year, the regiment captured six residents of Kanbauk, and only four of them have been released.

The arrests of local civilians, conduct of patrols, and inspections in Ohn Pin Kwin village tract, Phaung Taw village tract, Thae Chaung village tract, and Zar Dee village tract in Kanbauk were mainly committed by soldiers of the Mawrawaddy Naval Station.

In January 2024,  nearly two hundred people were arrested in the Tanintharyi region, Southern Burma, by the military and unidentified armed forces, including at least 100 civilians in Dawei Township, 20 residents in Pu Law Township, 30 people in Myeik Township, and at least ten villagers in Tha Yet Chaung Township.

These ongoing arrests continue to show the desperation of the military. They have rapidly lost control and legitimacy and are exploiting local people.  The international community must take seriously the plight of political prisoners who are not safe in military custody.


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