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

December 26, 2022

Fourth Week of December 2022

HURFOM: Despite the Christmas holidays, the Burma Army has not slowed its offensives. The targeting of civilians continues in Southeastern Burma and across the country. The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) has closely monitored the scaled-up atrocities perpetrated against unarmed residents. Offensives remain unrelenting, and the lives of the most vulnerable are increasingly at risk amid food shortages and freedom of movement restrictions.

The military junta launched a coup two years ago and denied the results of the 2020 election by dubiously claiming significant mistakes with the voter list. The junta is planning to hold an election in 2023. The Union Election Committee, which is controlled by the military, has been collecting names for a new voters’ list via the General Administration Department (GAD). According to sources within the GAD, there is little confidence the new voter list will be accurate because of corruption within the Immigration Department which has been tasked to make national registration cards and a household list of voters. Some names hold two or three different ID cards. “If corruption cannot be eliminated, the voter list won’t be accurate,” said a source close to the township GAD.

It is worth noting that the junta has also been putting pressure on small or ethnic political parties. The UEC recently informed all political parties of an amendment driven by the junta establishing new membership numbers and requiring parties to pay a fee to the UEC.

“It has been a long time since they’ve checked to see if the people in the constituency and those on the household list are the same. Many have different household lists and don’t live in the township they are registered to vote in.”

Clashes throughout the region threaten instability as hopes for a return to normalcy feels all the more distant. Conflict broke out in Padauk-Gyi Village, Thayetchaung Township, Dawei. The junta burned seven houses, opened fire with artillery weapons, and killed a young villager. On December 18 at 10 AM, fighting broke out between the local People’s Defence Forces and the junta in Padauk-Gyii Village. According to the reporters, the military council army burned seven houses and two motorcycles. In the evening after the battle, the junta and their backed militias entered the road leading to the hot springs in Pe-Dak village. A witness said they fired indiscriminately with their guns. A young man was hit in the chest. He bled to death. Due to these new armed conflicts, at least 300 families and villagers are fleeing nearby areas who fear the junta’s indiscriminate gunfire.

Meanwhile, the abductions are creating a growing atmosphere of fear. In Kaw Dut village, Ye Township, Mon State, two young people were arbitrarily arrested by the junta at 8 PM on December 20: “The junta is patrolling our village day and night. There are no People’s Defense Force soldiers here. But two young villagers, our friends, who were using their phones at the public rest house, were abducted. They did nothing wrong. Their motorbike was also seized,” according to a close friend of one of the detainees. They were sent to the Lamine Police Station, a neighboring Town of Kaw Dut village, Northern Ye Mon State. The junta frequently demands ransoms for the release of their loved ones. Human lives should not have a price tag attached to them. They must be granted their universal human rights to live with dignity and peace.


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