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

December 12, 2022

Second Week of December 2022

HURFOM: The brutality and scaled-up attacks by the junta across the last week in Southeastern Burma are evidence of the regime’s devastatingly rampant impunity. On Human Rights Day, marked on 10 December, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) issued a statement daring to ask how many more bullets would need to be fired before the international community awoke to the injustices being perpetrated daily against innocent civilians. HURFOM continues to condemn the ongoing attacks and emphasizes our calls for swift action and accountability. People’s lives are quite literally on the line.

The human rights violations that HURFOM has collected over the last two years, specifically since the attempted coup, have forced us to conclude that the junta can regularly perpetrate new levels of horror. There is no path of destruction the junta soldiers have hesitated to take, nor is there any evidence of humanity that could make this murderous regime halt their acts of violence. Innocent people across the country continue to suffer.

Of the main observations this last week, the rise of arbitrary arrests and abductions has led to thousands of residents abandoning their villages because they fear that they or their loved ones could be the next victims. Air and ground strikes by the Burma Army, particularly in Karen State, target civilian infrastructures such as schools, clinics, and shops. Fearfully paranoid of opposition forces growing and expanding, the Burma Army conducts senseless acts of warfare.

In Karen State, the junta forces are reinforcing and mobilizing their troops to launch an attack on an area controlled by Brigade #6 of the armed wing of the Karen National Union, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), located in Kyarinnseikyi Township, Karen State. Villagers are worried about the potential armed clashes in the area and are fleeing their homes. The junta military officials informed an Abbot in Kyarinnseikyi that if the KNLA and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) launch any attacks, they will enter Karen territory. The military is poised to enter via Thanbyuzayat – Three Pagodas Pass, Kha Lae – Da Gon Die and Eastern Zami River Routes. Indications are they will launch a counter-attack. “Now, the Burmese troops are near [these areas]. If the Karen forces pull the trigger, the Burmese army will launch their attack,” said a villager who has closely monitored the military movement and situation. After the KNLA and the PDF attacked and occupied the Taung Kalay Police Station, hundreds of Burmese troops entered Aye Chan Myine and Kha Lae – Da Gon Die area and established their bases: “Villages in Kha Lae – Da Gon Die are full of Burmese troops. There are no villagers left.”

Civilians were again targeted on 4 December when more than 4,000 were forced to flee their homes. The junta fired artillery, which targeted them and damaged at least four houses in Thein Zayat, Kyaik Hto Township, Mon State, according to the Karen National Union based in the areas. The Junta Artillery Base No. 310, originally from Thein Zayat, started indiscriminate shelling into Kyauk Phayar and Zee Pyaung villages at night. The heavy artillery fired exploded in Kyauk Phayar village. According to the residents who witnessed the incidents, nearly nine shells were dropped in Zee Pyaung village, and seven mortars exploded. It was confirmed that four houses were destroyed due to the mortar blasts. The Information Division of KNU n Kyaik Hto township said if the junta forces began such kind of ground attacks with indiscriminate heavy weapons, more attacks would likely be launched in the areas. On the morning of December 3, around 200 forces entered Pyin Kato Khome village.

Meanwhile, activists are still being unjustly locked up by the military-run courts. In Dawei, a political prisoner was sentenced to 48 years in Dawei prison. This decision is the highest prison sentence in Tanintharyi Region, according to the volunteer lawyers who spoke to HURFOM.


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.