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

June 26, 2023

HURFOM | June Week Four

As June nears an end, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) remains deeply concerned over the rise of atrocities perpetrated by the junta against civilians. Over the last week, women were targeted by the regime in a series of arbitrary arrests and abductions. The lawlessness that continues to consume the daily affairs of citizens is all the more evident that more than anything – the junta fears the people themselves who refuse to accept their dictatorship. This was especially clear following the arrest of nine women who participated in a flower strike to mark the birthday of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Mawlamyine, Mon State. On June 19, the arrested and imprisoned State Counselor’s 78th birthday was commemorated by flower strikes.

On the morning of that day, the junta police groups arrested nine flower buyers, including the shop owner and staff, who were distributing free Aung Tha Pyay flowers and roses at the Orchid Princess nursery shop in Shwe Myain Thiri Ward, Mawlamyine. After that, the junta military’s police officers took the nine residents to the Zeya Thiri Police Station after posting a sealed note that the Orchid Princess nursery shop had been confiscated.

The junta supporters incited to arrest those who participated in the flower strike. According to data from independent groups, at least 140 birthday-wishers, including those holding, wearing, and offering flowers, were arrested nationwide on Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday flower strike.

Even after the flower strike, the junta continued to search for women who participated and arrested them. According to residents, at 7 PM on 20 June, four women between the ages of 40 and 50 were arrested by the Mawrawaddy Navy of the junta council in Phaung Taw village, Kanbauk area, Yehyu Township. The villagers stated that the junta arrived and abducted the four women, then they left at 10 PM. The detainees are Daw Su Wai, Daw Hnin Myint and her sisters, Daw Mee Cho and Daw Mee Lay.

“The military came and arrested them with the pictures posted online during the flower strike on June 19,” said a local woman from Phaung Taw village.

Among the four arrested, Daw Su Wai was the one who was released months after the military coup, along with her sister, after being summoned and interrogated by the junta.

World Refugee Day was commemorated over the last week. HURFOM released a statement calling on the international community and UN agencies to support these conflict-affected communities, ensure their fair treatment under international humanitarian law, and enable them to access urgent assistance.

And yet, despite multiple calls to the international community, the junta still targets unarmed communities with impunity. On June 19, the Junta Force’s Artillery Regiment Command No.318, based in Abit village in Mudon Township, fired a series of mortar shells of 120 mm into Thakun Taing village, Win Ray Township, Mudon Township, injuring at least three villagers at 6:20 PM. Residents said they had to carry the affected patients amid hundreds of villagers fleeing due to the deliberate firing of mortar shells on the residential village.

The victims who were hit and wounded by the shells were Mg Moe Di, 16 years old and Mg Lupu, 18 years old.

“In the second and third shelling, they were hit while running. Among the injuries these children suffered, one got a waist hit, and it was difficult for him to walk again. He will need special treatment,” a medical worker said.

As a result of this shooting, some villagers, livestock, and domestic animals were also injured: “We continue to record the impact of the damages. After that, we will report it to the relevant KNU administrations. They need to know,” said a local.


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