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

May 6, 2024

HURFOM, First Week of May 2024

The military junta continues to commit widespread human rights violations. In target areas of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) in Mon State, Karen State and the Tanintharyi region, civilians are feeling increasingly unsafe as the Burma Army shows threatening behaviour and actions. In the wake of the newly enacted Conscription Law, arbitrary arrests and forced abductions have been on the rise. As the regime continues to forcibly enlist recruits at all costs, HURFOM is concerned that the human rights situation will worsen.

On April 29th, the military deployed six vehicles and a bulldozer to strategically destroy and block the road between Kan Bauk and Nabu Lae. The operation commenced around noon when they used the bulldozer and an excavator to sever the road, creating ditches and piling up soil to obstruct passage. This disruption occurred near a bridge on the Zadi-Khaung Pyan road, a crucial connection between Kan Bauk Township and Nabu Lae village.

During their operation, junta forces arrested several locals. At approximately noon, while monitoring and controlling traffic, they detained seven villagers, including one from Deik Ta Kaw. Later that day, near Thiri Mingalar school, five of these individuals were released. However, the individual from Deik Ta Kaw remained in custody.

The situation escalated further at around 2:00 PM when U Kyaw Soe, a man in his forties who owned a local computer and flower shop, was fatally shot in Zadi village. The identity of the shooter and the motive remain unclear. U Kyaw Soe’s family had previously suffered a similar tragedy when his stepfather, U Aye Han, was killed in January 2023.

Including U Kyaw Soe and U Aye Han, five men from Zadi village have been shot dead since then; except for U Lala, a member of the junta-backed village administration, none of these deaths have been officially acknowledged by any organization. By 5:00 PM, the junta vehicles and excavator had departed Zadi village, heading back towards Kan Bauk.

In addition, confrontations with the brutal regime are leading to an increased sense of fear. In a distressing event in Thayetchaung Village, Tanintharyi Township, a conflict with the junta-supported militia led to the tragic death of one man and left another severely injured.

On the evening of April 27th, locals reported that U Win Kyaw, a man in his forties from the village, was forcefully taken by militia members under the guise of an inspection. Sadly, when he was released the next night around 8:00 PM, he was found to be badly beaten and unconscious.

According to community sources, U Win Kyaw’s family urgently sought medical help, taking him to Maungmagan Hospital, which regrettably refused admission. In desperation, they transported him to Dawei Hospital. Despite their efforts, U Win Kyaw passed away shortly after arriving due to the severity of his injuries.

A local explained, “They brought U Win Kyaw in, severely injured and unconscious. They had to rush him by motorbike in the middle of the night. Although Maungmagan Hospital turned them away, they managed to get him to Dawei Hospital, where he sadly died.”

It is known that U Win Kyaw had previous mental health challenges, but the precise motives behind his brutal treatment remain unclear. This incident is not isolated. Just days earlier, on April 22nd, another villager, U Tun Naing, was similarly assaulted by the same militia group. As of April 29th, he continues to receive treatment for his injuries.

Since the military coup, the militarization of local militias has notably increased in Thayetchaung. U Sue Nge, also known as U Naung Gyi, currently heads the regional administration, and the Maungmagan Battalion equips the militia.

A young woman and her teenage son were also injured by mortar shelling over the last week when No. 556 Light Infantry Battalion based in Za Wae village fired shells. They’re both being treated at a local hospital.

Despite the lack of direct clashes, the frequent artillery and airstrikes by the junta are creating a climate of fear among residents.


Comments are closed.