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

March 25, 2024

HURFOM, Third Week of March 2024

The devastating impacts of the junta’s unjust Conscription Law cannot be denied. As the Burma Army continues to see widespread losses in previously held territories and bases, alongside an increasing rate of defections, the junta is robbing the youth of their futures by forcing men and women to enlist in the terrorist regime. According to the military junta’s conscription law, military service is mandatory for men aged 18 to 35, women aged 18 to 27, and those who have completed at least two years of service. The first conscription week will begin after the next water festival period and will involve 5,000 people per month across the country. The junta also announced that 60,000 men would be called for military service each year.

Enlisting has already begun in the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) target areas. The junta has directed the wards, towns, and township administrators to send a list of the conscription population of Mon State residents. They were instructed to send the list of people for military service in the last week of March. The ward/village administrators in Thanbyuzayat Township and Mudon Township have regrettably already collected the village lists.

Depending on the population, the village has 3–10 people per ward selected by the ward or village administrator, and the list must be sent by the fourth week of March:

“Two men collect lists in the neighbourhoods. They inquire about the name of the head of the family, the number of families, gender, and age,” said a resident.

Within Kyeikmayaw Township, the ward and village, depending on the population size (2–10 people per village or ward), have been instructed that the village administrators must select and send the list by March 20th.

Similarly, in some of the villages in Chaung Zone Township, the administration has sent notices to summon men between 18 and 35, asking them to come and meet with him.

“The Mon youth are no longer in the village. Parents are more concerned. The issue of conscription is quite controversial. In some townships, there are censuses from the administrators. In some places, they are talking about people old enough to be called to serve in the military,” said a Thanbyuzayat resident.

On the other hand, the New Mon State Party (anti-military dictatorship) has issued an order not to do as instructed by the junta for military service and announced that it will take decisive action against district administrations that do not comply. The pro-democracy bodies, including the National Consultative Council, the National Unity Government, and the Revolutionary Army, have each announced that they will take action.

Those who criticize the Conscription Law have also been punished. A case is being opened against 24-year-old Tun Lin from Mawlamyine under Section 505-A of the Penal Code because he shared a post containing the text of the conscription law and a revolutionary post on a social media page shared by a local media outlet.

The junta blocked traffic at the Maung Ngan ward’s Ah Yar Taw Road and Taung Paw Tan Street intersection. They stopped the victim on his motorcycle and checked his phone. They found a post that read: “Terrorist junta prepares to activate conscription law, summons all citizens.” Freedom of expression is not a crime. The junta continues to crack down on civilians for their fundamental rights and freedoms while violating pro-democracy principles in an unjust war against the people.


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