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

November 7, 2022

HURFOM: By the end of October 2022, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), observed another period of unrelenting offensives. Among our monthly key findings, over 15 000 people were newly displaced across Mon State, Karen State, and Tanintharyi region target areas. In addition to over 70 people arrested, 47 were detained, 45 were injured, and nearly 20 civilian deaths. The attacks are widespread, systematic, and indicative of the Burma Army’s emboldening sense of impunity. Without urgent and immediate international action, the people of Burma will continue to wait amid significant hurdles to their safety and well-being that are worsening daily.

Across the first week of November, HURFOM reported on over fourteen cases of extortion by the junta. Those traveling by car and truck from Mawlamyine to Dawei were stopped and searched. There was an estimated 20 million Myanmar Kyat (9,655 USD) worth of property and cash that was stolen from civilians. The junta has increased movement restrictions and inspections are becoming increasingly more routine.

HURFOM focuses on documentation in areas of the northern Tanintharyi Region. There is daily thievery of people’s properties and money at the Byaw-Taw-Wa junta-run checkpoint located on the main road where products are delivered to Dawei East region. There were an additional eight cases of motorcycle confiscation in Ye, Thanbyuzayat, and Yebyu Townships, Mon State. The economy and society as a whole are affected, according to the local villagers. The junta forces council’s battalions, including LIB No. 401 to 406, are committing human rights violations.

Abductions continue to be widespread as part of the junta’s country-wide campaign to stifle dissent. An ordinary resident from Kawthaung, Southern Tanintharyi, was arbitrarily abducted and detained after the junta security forces found out he made a comment on his personal Facebook about the recent junta air forces attack on a music festival in Phakant, Kachin State.  On October 24, 2022, a man ​named Ko Zeyar, who lives as a sidecar driver from Aye-Yeik-Nyein Ward, Kaw Thaung Town, southern Taninthrayi Region, was arbitrarily abducted by the junta forces and taken to one of the detention centers in Kaw Thaung.

Further, the ongoing crisis in Burma has created fewer economic opportunities, and parts of the Mon State labor force in many sectors, especially restaurant owners and rubber plantation workers, seeking better job opportunities outside of the country. A restaurant owner who spoke to HURFOM said, “in previous years, Mon State has many festivals after the end of the rainy season. Restaurants have many customers. But everything is different this year. Very few customers now. We’re unable to earn our livelihood this year.” Other small and medium-sized business owners have had to close due to frequent and prolonged power cuts, high prices, and a shortage of raw materials.

On October 30, 2022, early morning, junta forces from Thayet Chaung, Dawei conducted door-to-door searches. They abducted at least three civilians and later demanded ransoms for families to release them. This is also a part of an ongoing series of attacks targeting civilians. Across target areas, families are being threatened if they do not comply with the junta’s militarized agenda. It has created a debilitating situation of anxiety and uncertainty. HURFOM condemns the horrors which continue to be perpetrated against innocent civilians and calls for immediate pathways to international accountability mechanisms to hold those responsible in a court of law.

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