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

October 9, 2023

HURFOM, First Week of October

Last week, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) released the findings from our monthly overview. In September 2023, HURFOM fieldworkers reported that 82 people were arrested, 50 detained, 38 injured, and 14 killed. These numbers continue to rise week after week, month after month, and now, two and a half years after the failed coup, the junta continues to commit acts of senseless violence.

In a reported release over the last week, between January and June 2023, HURFOM documented that 146 civilians were killed, 315 injured, and 840 civilians arrested and detained. These numbers are particularly worrying given that by the end of 2022, HURFOM reported that at least 1,155 innocent people had been arrested and detained, 146 killed, including 26 women and children, and nearly 500 injured, of which 120 were women and children.  Across our findings, impunity for all the crimes committed remains consistent.

As the year nears an end and edges closer to the third-year anniversary of the day democracy was stolen, the international responses to the multiple crises unfolding in the country have dramatically slowed, yet the violence has not. HURFOM remains deeply concerned about the state of human rights in Burma. In target areas of Southeastern Burma, the people continue to suffer. Inflation has crippled livelihoods, and ongoing conflict has made survival a daily struggle. Anyone, at any time, could be killed. This reality has resulted in widespread fear and uncertainty.

On September 25, 2023, the 306th Artillery Battalion based in Eastern Maw Tone village, Tanintharyi Township, in Tanintharyi Region, indiscriminately launched numerous artillery attacks that killed a villager. The Battalion shot 81 mm artillery weapons at least ten times, targeting the Eastern Maw Tone village tract. One of the artillery shells dropped and exploded in a house, where the 30-year-old victim was killed immediately.

“He tried to close his front door as he heard artillery gunfire. The artillery shell dropped and exploded directly where he was. We called to send him to hospital, but he died of excessive bleeding within minutes,” said a villager from Eastern Maw Tone.

Artillery explosions also took place in Eastern Maw Tone, Za Lone, Htone Nwe, and Ban La Mut villages, and two houses in Eastern Maw Tone were destroyed by the explosion. As has become very common during junta attacks, there were no armed clashes in the area before the indiscriminate artillery attacks occurred.

During the first week of the month, more than 30 homes and nearly 20 vehicles were destroyed by the military junta, and five local residents were shot in Pu Law, Tanintharyi Region. Burma Army troops who entered Latt Ku and Toe villages burned civilian properties in Pu Law Township, Myeik District. Seventeen houses were in Latt Ku village, seven in Pyin Phyu village, four in Mya Dong village, and five in Pe Tud village in Toe village group. A total of 33 houses were burnt, and almost 20 vehicles and equipment, such as motorcycles, cars, tricycles, and tractors, were also destroyed in fires deliberately set by the junta.

In addition, the local residents reported that five civilians were shot and killed by the military junta troops. There are no less than 10 houses that were damaged by artillery weapons and homes that were destroyed in the two villages. On the fourth day, when the military reinforced their troops, there were fierce battles with the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and eight casualties from the PDF side.

Meanwhile, the ongoing arbitrary arrests, followed by baseless charges, are of additional concern. According to people close to the family, two locals arrested by the military in Mawlamyine and Thaton in Mon State have been charged under the Anti-Terrorist Act.


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