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

October 24, 2022

HURFOM: As the month of October comes to an end, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), continues to document horrendous human rights violations perpetrated against innocent civilians. There is an ongoing rise of arbitrary arrests across all target areas of Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region. Houses are being raided and broken into by lawless junta soldiers who fail to show any act of decency while doing so, at the very least having an arrest warrant.

Young men are increasingly targeted by the junta on suspicions of supporting the local armed groups in northern Dawei. Junta military forces have established bases in Yebyu, Longlon and routinely interrogated local villagers, especially young men, who seized belongings and extorted money from residents. Their actions are unlawful and are indicative of a wider pattern of systematic abuses relentlessly facing innocent people. Junta forces have also suspended permissions to visit their detained family members and indefinitely sent parcels/food to prisons in Kyaikmayaw, Hpa-an, and Dawei prisons.

On October 17th 2022, at 7:30 AM, local witnesses reported that the joint troops of junta forces and their sponsored militia troops abducted four local male villagers on accusations of being associated with the local People’s Defense Forces. Two detainees out of four were identified as the local villagers. The junta joint troops arrived with three military lorries and grabbed U Kyaw Maung and Ko Myint Aye, both from San Hlan village, Long lon Township. Only two of the arrested men are known, and the other two are still being sought. However, they are ordinary villagers.

In a separate but related case on Oct 16, 2022, military troops arrived at Min Yet Village in Long Lon Township in the evening and inspected the residents. Three were arrested and sent to a military detention camp. All three have also disappeared until now.

There were also more air attacks on local villagers in Karen State. The junta deployed these attacks where they explicitly targeted civilians. On 21 October at 7 AM, fighting broke out between the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army near Kawkareik township. Local villagers, who have become new IDPs, told HURFOM “the fighting was intense. The Burmese troops used airstrikes. We saw several attacks with jet fighters. Helicopters fired rockets toward our villages. We had to run away. Many houses were damaged, and there were casualties. Two people have been confirmed dead and at least five injured,” 30-year-old Karen woman told a HURFOM Five Residents who talked to HURFOM stated that at least 14 homes including a monastery, were damaged due to heavy weapons fired by Light Infantry Battalion No. (97): “In the morning, until 11:00 AM, a helicopter and a jet fighter flew above us. Then it started firing missiles to ward No.7. Saw Mying Oo, 46 died, and three others were hurt.”

Displacement is also being fueled by military junta in Mon State where offensives forced as many as 2,000 villagers from their homes. The junta designated Kyaik Hto Township as an offensive area and have carried out severe military attacks against the armed forces in the KNLA Brigade #1 every day. Most IDPs are elderly, children, and women sheltering in Brigade 1 of areas controlled by the Karen National Union.

Meanwhile, while human rights violations continue to be perpetrated, twelve junta soldiers ran away from their Mawrawaddy Navy Battalion in Kan Bauk region, located in Yebyu Township, Dawei District, Tanintharyi Region. They took their weapons with them when they defected. Local residents reported that the junta has since tightened security. Many people in the Kan Bauk region have been questioned by the security forces, and the military is arresting and destroying empty houses: “At least 6 local villagers were arrested and empty houses were destroyed and properties were seized. Cars, motorbikes, and belongings were seized by the junta.

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