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

February 13, 2023

Second Week of February 2023

HURFOM: The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) remains concerned over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Southeastern Burma. Villagers in Mon State, Karen State and the Tanintharyi region have repeatedly told fieldworkers that they do not feel safe or secure. As the junta continues to increase their presence in civilian areas, the cause for concern becomes all the more urgent. Across the second week of February 2023, the military junta committed more widespread violations with impunity. 

Between 5 and 7 February 2023, a series of crimes unfolded in Dawei District Yebyu Township. Family members and colleagues said the junta forces arbitrarily abducted at least six local people without arrest warrants. Three of the six detainees were women, and an 18-year man was included. These are the cases:

Case 1 – February 4 2023: Around 1 AM, an eyewitness and a family confirmed that the junta raided the house of Ma Thet Thet Wai and Ma Mu Mu, both age 30 and abducted them while they were sleeping. There was no reason for their arrest.

On the same day, the troops incorporating 15 soldiers of the Junta’s Mawawaddy Navy Command, based in Kanbauk, Yebyu, arrived in two lorries and inspected civilian homes for the guest registration permits and lists. They abducted a young woman, Ma Thae Lay, age 20, at 2 AM.

Case 2 – On February 5 at 8:00 AM, Ko Thet Oo, who was in contact with Ma Thet Thet Wai (from the first case), was summoned by the police station and was arrested by the Navy while he was responding at the police station in Kan Bauk, Yebyu.

Case 3: Last week, a Kanbauk resident, Ko Thet Aung, age 36, who runs a motorcycle repair shop in front of the military council’s Administrative Office, was arrested. In the following days, two of his co-workers, both youth, were charged.

The junta yet again targeted a young woman. Family members reported that the Mon State junta forces had opened a case under Penal Code 505 against a Civil Disobedience Movement school teacher, Ma Phyu Phyu Win, age 40, who was abducted and taken away by the junta’s military intelligence troops in mid-January 2023. Ma Phyu Phyu Win is a teacher with 15 years of experience.

Further, marital law continues to undermine the safety of the people.  On February 2, 2023, the military junta announced that Ye Township, Mon State, would be ruled under martial law. The junta military’s South East Command is now controlling the whole township in southern Mon. Shortly after the imposition of martial law, the junta moved into Ye Township:

“There have been military movements in Ye. The junta has employed more troops at the checkpoints. Security is getting tougher,” said one resident.

Travel restrictions and even bans on carrying food/rice and medicine on motorbikes have come into force. The army is controlling the movement of the people, and the General Administration re-issued an order banning residents from going outside from 6 PM to 6 AM.

There are criticisms directed at the junta not only because of the restrictions and the impacts on people’s daily lives and businesses but also because elections are to be held in every constituency in the township.

Further, in the southeastern areas of Mon State and Karen State, where the junta’s martial law has been declared, residents have increased their security by digging bunkers and foxholes to defend themselves as much as possible.


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