Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State, and Tanintharyi Region
Second Week of October 2022

October 17, 2022

A weekly update by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) on the situation on the ground. Summary data includes Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region.

Military impunity continues in target areas of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) including Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region. Southeastern Burma has been overwhelmed by the junta’s expanding presence and ongoing disregard for human rights. Innocent people are routinely being denied their fundamental rights as the regime targets them on unproven suspicions and accusations of supporting the thriving opposition movements across the country. Despite the junta’s attempts to terrorize the population into submission, civilians refuse to adhere to life under military rule and have maintained their calls for international intervention and advocacy.

Midnight raids and door-to-door searches continued in western Dawei areas. The operation of the junta forces are linked with the preparation of the future and certainly flawed General Election planned by the military. Following the armed attacks targeting junta administrative offices and the security forces by various troops of the local People’s Defense Forces in Long Lon, Yebyu Townships, Dawei, the junta forces LIB No. 406 and the military have been conducting door-to-door searches of the civilians’ houses, and committing arbitrarily arrests: “One notable thing is that the junta started conducting census collection for the upcoming general election. In our village, they started to compose how many people in a household, how many people over the age of 18, as well as the numbers of men, and women, and the list of household members who are in abroad,” said Nai Nyan, age 55, a resident of Yebyu Township told HURFOM. Since October 8, the number of young people arbitrarily abducted by the Junta joint forces has been increasing by at least eight.

Accusations of men supporting the resistance are widespread. According to the relatives and families, five more Yebyu residents accused of being linked with local armed groups were arbitrarily arrested, and tortured by the Junta forces on the evening of October 7th 2022. In one case, the junta forces kidnapped and abducted a 30 year old pregnant woman, who was the wife of a man on the junta’s want list, Ko Nyi Aung, a medic from Yebyu Township: “At first, the Burmese soldiers and junta-backed militia troops came and arrested Ko Nyi Aung. When they did not find him, they abducted his pregnant wife. We heard that Ko Nyi Aung came to turn himself in because he was worried about his wife. On that evening, October 7, a total of five residents from Ward No. D, Yebyu were abducted,” an eyewitness reported.

Worryingly on 13 October, at approximately 7:00 AM, a bomb explosion occurred in front of the office of the General Administration Department of Thayet Chaung Township, Dawei, sparking additional fears and concerns. Locals reported that the military had arrested two others, including Ko Aung Ko Shein, accusing them of being related to the blast. A local said that no one knows which interrogation center there were taken to. “We are living between two fires now. When and who will die next? And no one knows who will be arrested. It’s really the most challenging time for all of us,” Thu, a 50-year-old Thayet Chaung resident, told HURFOM reporters.

The Mon State Junta forces have continued to seize homes and other property from Pro-Democracy activists, Politicians, and those associated with the National Unity Government and its related organizations. In the latest case on September 12, the house of Khun Myint Htun, Chairman of Pa’O People’s Federal Council (PNFC), was seized by the Mon State Junta forces.

Destruction of property, seizing of civilian documents and motorcycles and an overall disregard for the rights landscape has threatened prospects of safety in Southeastern Burma, and likewise across the country. These attacks on civilians must end abruptly and the junta must also be held accountable for their widespread crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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