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

January 9, 2023

First Week of January 2023

A New Year has begun, but for many, the lives of innocent civilians in Burma have not changed. The junta uses violence as a tool to weaponize submission and enforce fractured laws that do nothing but make a mockery of the justice system. Fighting continues unabated as armed soldiers continue to wreak havoc, destroying all in their path.

In Southeastern Burma, conflict, and indiscriminate firing, alongside looting, extortion and theft, have left victims feeling powerless and afraid. It is noted that the international community has stalled their efforts to hold Terrorist in Chief Min Aung Hlaing accountable for his war crimes and crimes against humanity. The horrors are still very much a reality for those forced to endure the terror tactics deployed by the Burma Army.

HURFOM has noticed a particular escalation of violence against women and girls. Eyewitnesses reported that two young women riding a motorcycle on the bridge were shot in the back by the junta forces guarding the bridge and were both severely injured. The incident happened on the morning of January 1st. Local social response team members took them to Mawlamyine Hospital. One of the victims is a nurse, and the other is from a village in New Mon State Party Controlled areas.

Pro-democracy members also continue to be targeted by the junta for their rejection of the junta, and its pro-military policies, which do not uphold the rights and protections of civilians. Eight people, including a Regional Officer of the National League for Democracy’s Information Department in Dawei, were abducted by the Junta Intelligent Bureau Officers and security forces on January 2, 2023, according to their friends and families. At 10:30 AM, the junta raided the residence of Ko Win Lwin and Ma Mya Yadanar Htet, located in Kyet-Sar-Pyin Ward, Dawei. They were taken away without any arrest warrants. Ma Mya Yadanar Htet served as a Regional Information Officer of the NLD Party for many years.

After the couple’s arrests, the junta and Intelligence officers continued raiding the houses of another seven suspected people in the same location. Most likely, they were accused of supporting the current underground revolution in Dawei and other townships in Tanintharyi Region. “The junta often targets those who have been active in politics before,” one of the locals said.

When people around the world welcome the first day of the New Year, two days of fighting forced at least 1500 families to flee their homes on 1 January 2023 in the Tanintharyi region. They had relocated due to the indiscriminate artillery shells fired by the Junta’s Light Infantry Battalions, No. 561 and 556 joint troops: “Actually, the random fired from the Baw-Di- Costal Regiment Command of the Junta started shooting artillery mortars toward the following villages: Nyaung-Pin-Kwin, Five-Milies and Six-Miles villages, Pyoh-Ai, Bawdi-Karn, Ban-Law, Hpar-Ni, Lay-Mile, Yae-Khan-Chaung, Ban-Laboot, Nyaung-Bin-Gone and Yan-Hpo.

The junta perpetuates ongoing hostilities, which have effectively put a target on the backs of innocent civilians. HURFOM fieldworkers regularly share that no one feels safe and that every day the need for urgent international action is all the more needed. It is long overdue for a dramatically revamped intervention in Burma which prioritizes the lives and dignity of the people.


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