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

August 28, 2023

HURFOM | August Week 4

During the last week of August, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) continues to report increasing cases of injustice in Southeastern Burma. The situation’s urgency demands action and intervention by the international community, especially as vulnerable communities suffer from socio-economic instability. It has become extremely difficult for people to survive at the junta, which wages their offensives on largely unarmed people.

Last week, junta forces arbitrarily arrested individuals at checkpoints and security tollgates. On 18 August, junta security force members shot and arrested two local men near the security tollgate station in Kadon Se ward, Paung City, Mon State, giving the doubtful reason that the young men refused to stop their motorcycles. The incident occurred while the joint forces of junta and police officials explored and inspected vehicles near the Tollgate station in Paung City, Mon State, in the late afternoon:

“We saw a motorcycle driving from Kywal Cham village to Paung town without knowing that the military junta was inspecting and stopping the passengers and was shot and arrested by joint forces,” said a local who added, “Normally, there is no check at the entrance gate; the tollgate is just for collecting wheel tax from the vehicles on other days. Unfortunately, they must have thought they were not checked and drove away. There were about ten shots; they were hit there.”

As a result of this indiscriminate attack, two people, including 37-year-old Ko San Min from Uttadar village and 19-year-old Saw Bo Bo Hein from Tet Hmu Chaung village, were wounded in their thighs and legs. The military sent the two victims arrested and shot to the Paung Township Public Hospital, where they were interrogated.

In Paung township, the military junta forces shot at least four times at travelers’ cars and motorcycles with an excuse for security reasons, resulting in the deaths of civilians.

While the crime rate soars alongside escalating conflict, the junta is ransacking the homes of displaced villagers. More than two hundred houses forcibly departed by IDPs in Yebyu Township were looted and destroyed, and crimes were being committed continuously by the military junta troops and the militia group under them, according to local sources.

On 22 August, three residents reported that the junta and the militia group brazenly broke into the houses and destroyed the remaining places, taking the valuables and belongings left behind.

The Light Infantry Battalion 406 and 407 and their Pyu Saw Htee soldiers, which have been reinforcing in the Nabu Lae area since the 8th of August,  stole and destroyed 23 houses in Wazun Taw village, more than 170 houses in Ayekani village, and 26 houses in Khamaung Chaung village.

When they left the villages, we recorded it as soon as they left. Their columns are still deployed around the area. According to the latest update by HURFOM, the junta continues to burn homes in the village, forcing dozens of families to flee together.

“We don’t know how we will struggle to survive, let alone find a place to live. The people of Ayekani village next to the village also fled. Now, more than 400 people are fleeing the war here. We still have to evacuate. Some of them have already returned, and if we return, I think the houses will be destroyed and burned into ash,” said a man from Bagaw Soon village.


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