2 Villagers Killed and 1 Rebel Wounded in Ambush After Kidnapping

November 23, 2011

HURFOM: The areas of northern Yebyu Township and southern Ye Township are home to several armed insurgent groups and are the areas of operation for at least four Burmese Army battalions, the Light Infantry Battalions’ (LIB) No.282, No.273, No.401, and Infantry Battalion (IB) No.31. This potent mix of hostile groups has led to frequent clashes between government troops and insurgent forces. For local residents, the security situation is perilous. Human rights abuses, such as arbitrary taxation, travel restrictions, forced labor, abduction, and extortion are being committed by both sides. All of this has strained the local economy, threatening the very livelihoods of the people in the region. Read more

Flooding in Bangkok Leads to Factory Closures in Three Pagoda Pass

November 15, 2011

HURFOM: Severe flooding in Thailand’s central region has led to the closure of several factories in Three Pagodas Pass, leaving an estimated 1,000 Burmese migrant workers without work. Many are facing difficulties in the absence of their daily wages while waiting for the factories to re-open. But factory owners have yet to say when operations will resume. Read more

Attempted rape by IB No. 31 Captain on 12 year old school girl

October 28, 2011

WCRP: On October 21st, a 12 year old girl living in Pai Karain Khawzar village, Khawzar Sub Township, Ye Township was attempted raped by the Burmese Captain Way Lin Phyo of Infantry Battalion No. 31. The assault happened as the girl was walking on her way back to her home village after school. Read more

Flood, Insect Attacks, and The Hardest Time for Farmers in Lower Burma

October 19, 2011


Rice is the staple food of Burma and an essential part of Mon agriculture. It is what feeds the majority of people in Lower Burma and is one of Mon State’s primary exports. But this year rice is in short supply due to a treacherous trinity of problems that have attacked Mon farmers from all sides.

First, unusually heavy and continuous rains since late May have inundated fields and by the end of August, many fields are still flooded. Some farmers, such as Nai Both in Sein Taung Ward, Ka-mar-wet village, estimate they have lost over half of their rice crop to flooding. In past years, farmers could re-cultivate their paddies after a flood. But as this year’s flooding has persisted unusually long, some farmers say there is neither time nor enough resources to re-cultivate. Making matters worse, a state-owned dam, the Win Pa-noon dam, is at full capacity. Needing repairs and on the verge of collapse, officials have opened the sluice gates, releasing water into farmers’ fields. Farmers say the dam is the biggest obstacle in reducing the water levels.Download report as PDF [2.8MB] Read more

Myanmar Human Rights Commission and the Release of Political Prisoners is Welcomed, but More Progress is Demanded

October 19, 2011

Since taking power as head of Burma’s new civilian government, President U Thein Sein has endeavored to show positive change in his country to the international community and especially to Western governments.  Read more

Serving as Human Shield, Ta Dein Villager Loses his Leg

October 18, 2011

On October 6, 2011, while three villagers from Ta Dein village, Three Pagoda Pass area, were used by government Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No.543, which is active around Ta Dein, to serve as porters and human shields, a man Myint Swe (not real name) was hit by land-mine, during they were guiding the troops to the territory of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 6. Read more

Ten Years On: Locals Still Paying for Pipeline’s Security

September 20, 2011

Thanbyuzayat and Mudon townships: Local residents complain they should no longer pay for security and other fees related to maintainence of the gas pipeline running from Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay. They charge that local authorities and military battalions have unfairly taxed them since the gas pipeline was installed. In the era of a new ostensibly civilian-led government, they believe these unjust security fees should stop. Read more

In Two Villages, Residents Fear Extrajudicial Killings

September 12, 2011

HURFOM,Kawkareik Township: Following the breakout of renewed fighting in Karen State, Burmese government troops are engaging in extrajudicial killings of those they accuse of being members of rebel armed groups.  In documenting these human rights abuses, HURFOM found that safety and survival are the main concern of locals. Read more

Amid Continued Fighting, Lives and Property in Danger

September 9, 2011

September 6, 2011, Kyarinnseikyi Township: Local residents in Kyarinnseikkyi Township have told HURFOM reporters that continuous armed conflict in their villages threatens their livelihoods and endangers their lives.

Interviews with local residents on September 5 have revealed that fighting between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and government forces on September 4 caused significant loss of property and put their lives in danger. Read more

Biting the hand that feeds: Armed extortion in Karen State

September 6, 2011


From late June to mid-July 2011, HURFOM field reporters gathered human rights violation cases through conducting interviews with native residents of the villages under the administration of Kyon-doo Township, Kawkareik Township, and Kyarinnseikkyi Township. These villages include those that are located in western and southern Kawkareik Township, and some in the southern part of Kyarinnseikkyi Township, Karen State. Of native residents interviewed, 95% of them reported that they are being arbitrarily taxed by multiple armed groups. They experience immense hardship from trying to make a living while supporting all these groups, and they fear the prospect of having to maintain this arrangement long-term. The remaining 5 % of those interviewed reported that they are continuously being threatened, unfairly oppressed, and used as porters and human shields.Download report as PDF [168KB] Read more

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