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

February 12, 2024

HURFOM, First Week of February 2024

On 1 February 2024, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) issued a statement to mark three years since the failed coup in Burma. Over the past three years, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) has documented widespread suffering and evidence of crimes perpetrated by the junta. Human rights violations have steadily increased across Southeastern Burma, including in Mon and Karen States as well as in the Tanintharyi region.

HURFOM continues to call for immediate accountability for the widespread and systematic crimes committed by the Burma Army. For decades, the Generals and soldiers of the regime’s commands have violated the rights of civilians with impunity. The international community must take the criminality embedded in the Tatmadaw seriously. This includes acknowledging the pro-democracy movement and leaders and ending all engagements with the military junta. The shared oppressor of the people has no place in the future of the country’s democratic movement. 

In January 2024, nearly 20 civilians from Kyike Hto, Bilin and Thaton Townships, Mon State, were killed or injured by the military junta’s artillery attacks, as reported by the Thaton District of the Karen National Union (KNU). The first week of February 2024 saw a continuation of violence and hostilities that targeted civilians and severely wounded children. A 9-year-old boy was seriously injured when the regiment threw artillery mortar shells into Kaw Hlaing village, Thaton Township, Mon State. Saw Thet Naing Htwe, the 9-year-old son of Naw Khin Mar Kyu from Kaw Hlaing village, was hit by the explosion and suffered a broken leg.

“The army is firing artillery weapons every day. It hit a child living in the house. The injury is severe because of a leg fracture. The whole village is frightened,” said a resident of Kaw Hlaing village.

The daily launching of artillery shells by the military junta into Kaw Hlaing village has made it difficult for the local people to go to work to support their families as they are living in fear. Kaw Hlaing is a village where the military troops are firing artillery weapons. It is a town in the administrative area of Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 1, Thaton District, where many Karen people live.

On January 30, 2024, two 15-year-old students were hit and injured when the junta troops attacked with artillery weapons in Pha Lan Taung village, Hpa-An Township, KNU Thaton District.

Arbitrary arrests are also ongoing. A monk and a young man from Nang Pa Yout village, Pu Law Township, Myeik District, Tanintharyi Region, were also abducted by the junta’s forces. On February 1, around 6:00 a.m., a 40-year-old monk named Ko Wanna, who was ordinating at Nang Pa Yout village monastery and a young man in his 20s from a house in front of the monastery were abducted by the junta troops.

“U Wanna is already a monk in a monastery. They asked him to change clothes and arrested him,” said a local man.

According to members of Myeik District No. 1 Battalion, the junta troop that captured the two people was a column conducting military activities near Nang Pa Yout village.

The monk and young man arrested by the regiment were detained at the Pu Law police station and then taken to Light Infantry Battalion LIB No. 285.

These attacks indicate the lack of consequences faced by the junta, which routinely evades accountability due to the delayed response by the international community. Time is running out. The people deserve and are entitled to justice. To deny or dismiss their harrowing experiences disregards their plight and undermines the sacrifices of so many in Burma who have given their lives to ensure the success of the revolution.


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