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

August 7, 2023

HURFOM | August First Week

Over halfway through the year, the situation in Southeastern Burma continues to deteriorate rapidly. The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) reports increasing violations of the rights and security of civilians targeted by the junta. Baseless accusations and a lack of rule of law have left the most vulnerable subjected to military force without accountability. HURFOM continues our calls for justice and reparations, and the international community to advocate for their protection through sanctions on aviation fuel and for a global arms embargo. The slowness and lack of urgency on the situation in Burma remain frustrating as civilians exist under increasing threats to their survival.

By the end of July 2023, HURFOM documented a rise in arbitrary arrests and indiscriminate firing. At around 5:00 a.m. on July 27, after Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) attacked the military junta’s Wee Yaw camp based in Thaton Township, fighting with the junta ensued. Military troops fired at least 40 rounds of 80 mm and 60 mm artillery weapons into Hton Bo Lay and Htow Kaw Kyoe villages.

“The clash lasted only half an hour. As soon as the fighting ended, they started firing weapons into the village. A boy was hit in the head by the shell and died. Other villagers in some areas are already fleeing,” said a resident of Hton Bo Lay.

The 18-year-old victim, a young man Saw Ae Kaw Shee, from the village of Hton Bo Lay, was killed, and four residents, including 13-year-old Naw Ae Soe, were wounded by the artillery weapons fired by the military junta.

On 25 July, due to the junta troops entering Thaton Township, more than 1,000 residents of Mi Chaung Lake, Kha Lauk Inn and Ma Yan Gon villages fled their homes, according to a statement from the Karen National Union of Thaton district.

In addition, on July 26th, the military junta unit arrested two residents of Thaton Township as human shields, of which only U Wa So from Ma Yan Gon village was released, and local Saw Mya Laung was still detained. Karen National Union (KNU) Thaton Township residents were also arrested as human shields during the military junta’s raid. Some people have fled their homes due to launching artillery weapons.

Abductions are also ongoing. In the afternoon of the 29th of July, two young men, one from Lamaing and another from Mawkanin village, Ye Township, Mon State, were arrested by the police at the entrance to Ye town, according to locals. The junta is attempting to defame them through a lawsuit through baseless evidence of supporting opposition groups.

Those who have fled their homes from Hnit Ka Yin village are moving to towns with close relatives in Ye Township, Thanbyuzayt, Mudon and Mawlamyine, and guest houses and monasteries in those cities. Most of them require emergency assistance. The residents in the village are worried and gather together to sleep at night. Most families who have left their homes in the villages are concerned about their homes.

On 4 August, ten others were arrested on the same accusations in the village quarters of Bilin Township, Mon State. Junta forces allegedly accused those people of informing and having a connection with the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs). They were abducted on charges of providing financial support for them and condemning the junta on social media.

The arrested victims are private bank employees Ma Ei Phyu Sin, a teacher of the Civil Disobedience Movement, Daw Aye Aye Khaing, Ko Zaw Win Oo from Metta Gold Shop, about 10, including Ko Win Naing.

“They have been arresting people with various accusations since the third week of last month. Those who have money are extorted and freed. Those who cannot pay are jailed,” a local said.

The arrested residents were from Taung Soon village, Pauk Taw, Alu and Wards of Bilin.

Among those arrested by the military, the gold shop owner and two youths were released after paying the ransom, while the rest have been still detained at Bilin Police station.


Comments are closed.