Villagers in Southern Ye extorted for 20 million Kyat

September 21, 2021

HURFOM: Villagers from Kyone Nyae village, Southern Ye, Mon State were extorted for approximately 20 million Kyat by an unknown Mon armed group, earlier this week, reported. 

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People in the NMSP controlled area receive first vaccinations

September 21, 2021

HURFOM: In the second and third weeks of September, 2021, members and soldiers of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and their family members, monks, and charity workers, staff of the various departments of the NMSP and villagers in the NMSP controlled area received  vaccinations for Covid-19.

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Junta to organize local militia to serve as reserve military force

September 21, 2021

HURFOM: The military junta has been in a security crisis since the coup, and  now are making plans to reinforce their ranks with local militia groups.

The military has been negotiating with village/ward administrators to upgrade local militia groups. Last month the junta attempted to persuade people to join local militia, but no one was willing to join. This led to a second attempt to pressure village Administrators to aid with recruitment efforts.

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Weekly update on situation in Karen, Mon & Dawei since the coup: (Third Week of September 2021)

September 20, 2021

HURFOM:

Tensions in HURFOM target areas are growing. The escalation of violence by the junta, combined with their exertion of control by intimidating and threatening civilians has isolated communities. The threats to everyday safety are growing exponentially. Young people in particular are at risk.

Maung Yin Min Khant, a 16-year-old boy living in Kadat Nge Htein Village in Loung lone Township in Tanintharyi Region, was shot to death by the junta security forces, who set up a camp at the village monastery, on the evening of September 17th. The targeting has forced many into hiding, but even then, their safety cannot be guaranteed. Two young civilians were abducted by junta Security Forces from their hiding places in Hpa-an this week. According to a witness, the two were affiliated with the Civil Disobedience Movement from a government department and had been in hiding since May. The soldiers and police brought them from Ward #6 to Taung Kalay prison. On September 17 at 1 PM, Ma Cho Cho Phyo, a 3rd-year student from Dawei University was arrested according to Dawei Students Union. The junta and security forces came to her house in Akani Village, Yebyu Township to arrest her brother. But he already escaped. The troops abducted her instead. Six students have been abducted, including a tutor from Dawei University, within this week, according to Dawei University students’ Union. The junta also abducted five youth from Shwe Myaing Thiri ward, Mawlamyine, Mon State on September 18th. The reason for the arrest remains unknown.

The recent armed conflicts between the Junta Forces and PDF created approximately 1,200 IDPs in Tanintharyi Region. Residents have been forced to flee from Kyae-Zu-Daw, Sar-Khae, and Pane-Nae-Taung villages since last month. According to a source who works for a food aid group in Dawei Region, most of them are still terrified to return home: “In some areas, like eastern Palaw Township, people have started to face starvation,” said a source. “We heard that some aid groups are trying to reach out to us to help, but the Burma Tatmadaw battalions are blocking them,” a Karen National Union member said.

Locals fear returning home because the tactics by the Burmese Army, which include arresting and conscripting villagers are prevalent as military tensions increase in Mon State. HURFOM has documented dozens of cases of civilians being arbitrarily detained and taken to unknown locations. According to residents, the military has occupied more and more troops in most wards and quarters in Hpa-an, Karen State as more troops are deployed with armed ex-military servants and militia forces in nearly every quarter in town, one local source said: “The Karen State Junta Administrators said they want to provide ‘Security’ for residents. However, we feel more unsafe living with them. the more they are deploying in the areas, the more chance of human rights abuses will occur,” A 38-year-old ethnic Karen from Hpa-an expressed.

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Locals face tougher livelihood as electricity fees on the rise

September 17, 2021

HURFOM: The political crisis and COVID-19 has resulted in many people losing their jobs and being left with no income. At the same time, commodity prices have been rising on a near daily basis. For those at the bottom rungs of the economy life has become harsh.

People in Ye who do not have access to electricity provided by the State,  have to buy it from private companies at a high price. As of September,  these companies have decided to increase their fees.

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New Mon armed group emerges in Southern Ye: Villagers fear extortion

September 17, 2021

HURFOM: According to the local sources, a new Mon armed group, calling itself the “Mon Land Defense Army”  has emerged around Kyone Ka Nyar village, Southern Ye Township, Mon State.

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New Briefing Paper by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland Condemns Privacy Violations & Increased Surveillance by the Junta

September 15, 2021

HURFOM: A new briefing paper by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), We have lost our private sphere:” the infringement of privacy rights under the military junta in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region, finds civilian rights to privacy have been eroded by the power-seeking junta. Since the attempted coup on 1 February, the regime has taken steps to extend their authority into civilian homes and their personal devices. Through premeditated amendments to Burma’s legal framework, the junta has endeavored to justify their assault on fundamental privacy rights.

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Locals fear a return of Burmese army tactics of arresting and conscripting villagers

September 14, 2021

HURFOM: The Burmese army has a long history of forcefully conscripting villagers to be used as a human shield and serve as unpaid labourers.  International bodies and non-governmental bodies have documented these practices dating back to the era when the State Law and Order Restoration Council ruled Burma. 

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Security forces frightened locals during search for PDF members in Ye

September 14, 2021

HURFOM: On September 12, 2021, about 50 soldiers in  four military trucks searched houses in Tha Main Baran Street (between Thiri Nandar and Thiri Marlar Streets) in Ye, Mon State.

The incident frightened home owners and neighbours.

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Weekly Update in HURFOM Targeted Areas (Second Week of September 2021)

September 13, 2021

HURFOM, Mawlamyine: A weekly update by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) on the situation on the ground. Summary data includes Mon State, Karen State, and Northern Tanintharyi Region.

The numbers of those arrested & detained more than doubled in HURFOM areas in the last week. Violence by the junta has increased as young ppl are targeted.

Full Analysis:

Numbers in HURFOM areas of arrest and detainment more than doubled since last week. Eight civilians were arrested in Mon State, eleven in Karen and thirty-four from Dawei region. Of those injured, most of the victims were from Dawei and Mawlamyine. A pregnant woman, and mother of a young child was shot by the junta while coming home with her husband, who was also shot and severely injured in Ka-Dike village, Paung township on 1 September. Property also continued to be looted by state-backed forces under the unlawful ‘stop and frisk’ tactics. Some civilians were forced to pay fines to have their belongings returned.

Door to door inspections of suspected People’s Defense Forces (PDF) continue in Dawei region and in Hpa-an, Karen State. Three young people who the Junta forces suspected as the network members of PDF were abducted, according to one of the victims’ neighbors reported. National League for Democracy member houses were also targeted.

On 5 September, the Light Infantry Battalion No. 583, operating under the Military Operation Management Command No. 19, arrested a villager from Wae Bai village for unknown reasons. About 50 Junta troops with full ammunition entered into the village (Wae Bai, Eastern Ye, the New Mon State Party controlled areas) at 2 PM local time and arrested a 44-year-old man. Witnesses suspect that the junta was on alert for conflict as they entered NMSP controlled areas without permission.

Even aid workers are being targeted. Four young men volunteering with their village to provide health and social support were abducted by Light Infantry Battalion No. 401 army soldiers. The village is known as, Maw-Shae-Gone Village, Thayet Chaung Township, Dawei. 2 Army Trucks carried full of soldiers came and searched door-to-door. Then they arrested four men and brought them to unknown places, according to local sources.

In most cities in Mon State, the junta deployed more troops to tighten up security after the National Unity Government declared war on them. ‘We face difficulties traveling. They have full power to stop and frisk, to search our handphones, and to rob us,’ said a young man who had his phone confiscated.

The recent armed clashes between Junta troops and PDF have forced an estimated 1,000 civilians into the jungle, according to HURFOM network members in Palaw Township, southern Tanintharyi Region. After the military began launching indiscriminate attacks and shelling on Pein-Nae-Taung, Sar-Khae and Du-Yin-Pin-Yaung villages, everyone fled to the jungle. Some villagers ran with only the clothes on their back. “Targeting civilians is one of the oldest tactics of the military, especially when they have conflicts with Karen armed forces, or their opponents. The locals experienced these situations a lot, and they know that the military does not have humanity. The emergency relief and humanitarian aid providers should come and immediately respond to these people.” a former Karen National Union Brigade 4 commander said. The majority of civilians from these three villages are ethnic Karen.

Meanwhile, the Southeast Command, based in Mawlamyine, deployed many troops to tighten up the security checks in Mon and Karen State. Many of those informing on civilians are plain clothed police who are conducting more surveillance of civilians.

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