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

April 24, 2023

HURFOM | April Week Three

In an ongoing wave of violence, civilians continued to be targets of the military junta. Young people, men, and boys, are regularly rounded up by the soldiers where they are violently questioned, tortured and often killed. Orders to ‘crush the resistance’ from the coup leader, Min Aung Hlaing, continue to fuel unprecedented rates of violence. Fear and the ongoing bombings from the various junta-backed battalions are growing causes of displacement, where over one million are displaced across the country.

Violence did not slow or stop even during the traditional Thingyan holidays. The junta shot at two young people during the annual festivities in Palaw Township, Southern Tanintharyi Region. On April 16, witnesses said that at 9:30 AM, a young man and a woman in their 20s riding a motorcycle were fired at during their mandatory sentry duty. They both are residents of Palaw. The young woman was injured by a bullet shaft in her stomach, and the man was hurt in the head,” according to reports. During Thingyan, the Burma Army soldiers killed at least five people in the Tanintharyi region.

Two young men were confirmed arbitrarily murdered after the Junta forces abducted and accused them as members of local armed resilience members during Water Festival Celebration holidays in Panga village, Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State. A 35-year-old Social Worker from Panga village said these two young victims were strangers from unknown places, and the Junta Security troops captured them near Panga village on April 18, 2023. They were tortured before they were killed.

HURFOM reporters confirmed the names of these young victims as Maung Arkar Minn, 16, and Aung Myo Htet, 21.  “Where is the rule of law? We are being deprived of our rights,” asked a civilian.

While soldiers continued their murder spree, the Junta’s Correctional Department in Mon State began releasing over 220 prisoners to mark the Burmese traditional New Year festival on April 17 and 18. However, HURFOM confirmed that no political prisoners were removed from the prisons located in Mon State.

“As usual, the junta prioritizes releasing those with drug-related offensives and petty crimes,” according to a young volunteer lawyer in Mawlamyine.

“Hundreds of young political prisoners involved in this revolution have been detained in Kyaikmayaw Prison. All must be freed,” said the mother of a young prisoner.

Unfounded suspicions also encouraged the regime to add more chaos during the festivities by arresting people without cause. Residents in Bilin Township, Mon State, informed HURFOM that at least eight young people from two villages were detained for allegedly being involved in the explosion of two bombs on 16 April, the eve of Burma’s New Year.

On April 16, a homemade bomb exploded near Taung Gyi and Taung Zun Villages. The junta arbitrarily abducted four youths from Taung Gyi Village and another four young villagers from Taung Zun Village. The families and community leaders cannot visit those detained. They are negotiating with the police to see them.

Due to the explosion, the local social response team confirmed that at least four residents, including a 10-year-old boy, were injured. Some buildings were also damaged. With these latest arrested youths, the junta has detained at least 20 people since January 2023.

As of 23 April 2023, due to the recent fighting in Tanintharyi Township, at least 3,500 residents from seven villages are fleeing and in need of assistance, said residents who fled the war. In Karen State, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people were displaced, and hundreds of thousands were already made to run. Battles in Myawaddy Township, Karen State, ran from the new armed clashes in Mekanae areas, Brigade No. 6:

“The junta forces were firing long-range rockets into the villages for hours into the night,” according to HURFOM reporters in Karen areas. Emergency response team members said that at least 500 new arrivals were received in Thaton areas of Mon State.


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