Human Rights Violation Documentation Infographic

The research team of Kachin Women Research Group and Kachin Human Rights Watch Group collected (50) cases of human rights abuses in Myitkyina, PutaO, Banmaw, and Mohnyin districts of Kachin State, and Lashio and Muse districts of Northern Shan State from July 2022 to February 2023. Among those (50) cases, (6) are from the period of 2011 to 2018, (44) are from the period of 2021 to 2023 All the collected cases can be categorized into nine forms of abuse; arbitrary arrests, indiscriminate shelling, direct shooting, air bombardment, landmine explosion, torturing, property confiscation, and destruction, intimidation, and rape. From 2011 to 2018, there was one case each of arbitrary arrest, indiscriminate shelling towards civilian villages, air bombardment, direct shooting of civilians, confiscating civilian properties and threatening civilian case. The majority of the perpetrators are Myanmar Tatmadaw (military), and a few cases were committed by local armed organizations. Summary of each type is described as follows.

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Burmese :

Junta troops kill 28 militia members in Myanmar’s Sagaing region

Locals said there were too many bodies to cremate.

Junta troops ambushed and killed 28 People’s Defense Force members in Sagaing region’s Myinmu township, witnesses told Radio Free Asia on Monday.

The dead include 20 members of the Black Eagle defense force, five members of the  Myaung Revolution Army, two members of  People’s Security Group-Myinmu and a 14-year-old boy connected with the anti-junta militias, a People’s Security Group official told RFA Burmese.

A local who saw the bodies said that some were shot dead, but others died after their limbs were cut off.

“They were shot in their heads and chests and body parts were cut off,” said the local who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisal.

“We were not able to cremate the bodies because there was not enough wood for the number of dead. They were buried by backhoe.”

Military violence across Sagaing

Sagaing region has been an anti-junta stronghold and cradle of resistance to the country’s brutal military rule since the army seized power in a February 2021 coup.

Junta forces have swept through villages across Sagaing, sometimes more than once, to find and punish suspected resistance fighters belonging to People’s Defense Forces and their civilian supporters.

Junta troops often torch not only the houses of families they suspect of being revolutionaries, but also those of teachers who participated in the nationwide civil disobedience movement following the coup.

In 2022, RFA reported that junta troops killed 29 men in Mon Taing Pin village, maiming and burning the bodies in a 44-hour orgy of violence that was recorded on a soldier’s cell phone.

RFA analyzed a cache of files retrieved from a cell phone that was dropped in a neighboring township and found by a villager. It included an image of about 30 men with their hands tied behind their backs on the grounds of a monastery, and victims of execution a day later.

Other instances of Burmese military atrocities and abuses by security forces have been revealed through testimony from victims and military defectorsimages and footage from citizens’ cell phonesCCTV video; and satellite imagery analysis of dozens of villages in Sagaing burned to the ground. 

More allegations of atrocities and war crimes by junta forces have piled up since the Mon Taing Pin massacre. In the deadliest reported incident since the coup, as many as 200 people were killed in an April 11 air strike on Pa Zi Gyi village in Sagaing’s Kanbalu township.

Video of mutilated victims

In last week’s incident in Myinmu township, video obtained by RFA showed women and children crying next to the mutilated bodies.

Residents said that the defense force soldiers killed were men from Myaung and Myinmu townships who joined the militias because they wanted to defend their villages after the coup.

Junta telegram channels said Saturday that the junta seized 10 guns and ammunition in Friday’s ambush.

The column of 70 troops who killed the defense force members occupied Myaung township on Saturday.

Calls to the junta spokesman for Sagaing region, Tin Than Win, went unanswered.

From February 2021 to July 2023, there were 144 killings of five or more people across the country, and 1,595 people died, the shadow National Unity Government’s Ministry of Human Rights announced on July 31. 

The NUG, a shadow government formed of politicians ousted in the coup and other pro-democracy campaigners, did not specify whether the dead were civilians or defense force members.

RFA News

Junta arrests principal of private high school in Sagaing

The school was also shuttered, with the junta posting a sign on the building suggesting that it had ties to ‘terrorist organisations’ 

The military arrested the 57-year-old principal of a private school in Sagaing town last week and shut down the institution the following day, Myanmar Now has learned. 

Htar Htar Oo was taken into junta custody on September 21. The next day junta personnel posted a sign on the entrance of the Yinthway Yadanar private high school in Thazi ward, alleging that it had had ties to organisations designated by the military council as terrorist groups. 

Children were reportedly attending classes at the school at the time it was sealed off. 

At the time of reporting, no official information had been released about Htar Htar’s Oo’s detention and the shuttering of her school, nor is it known under what legal statute she is being detained. However, pro-junta Telegram channels and social media pages claimed that evidence had been found that the principal had also taught at the Sagaing Federal School, which is run by the publicly mandated National Unity Government. 

A source close to Htar Htar Oo’s family denied these allegations. 

The individual described the principal as “a very generous and loving person to both the children and the staff members at her school.”

A Sagaing local said that several family members were also arrested alongside the principal, including her adult children and daughter-in-law, but were released the following morning while Htar Htar Oo continued to be held. 

In August, the junta also sealed off the Golden Gate private high school in downtown Mandalay and arrested the school’s founder and management team. 

The military has detained thousands of people nationwide suspected of having connections to the armed anti-junta resistance groups that formed following the February 2021 coup, filing criminal charges against them and often seizing their homes and businesses. 

According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 19,620 people were in military custody at the time of reporting. 

Myanmar Now News

Young political prisoner dies of heart attack in Myanmar prison

The man experienced health problems after being tortured but was not treated.

A 21-year-old political prisoner who was sentenced to a long term in Myanmar’s Insein Prison died of a heart attack at the weekend, sources close to the family told Radio Free Asia on Monday.

The prison authorities informed family members about the death of Min Hein Khant on Sunday evening and they went to the Yangon prison to see the body.

A source close to the family said Min Hein Khant was in good health before his arrest, but he was severely tortured during interrogation and did get treated for heart disease in prison.

“I found out that he had a heart attack in May,” said the source.

“He fell down and went to prison hospital. There, the doctors checked and found out that he had a heart attack but he was told to see a specialist only after he was released from prison. There was nothing in the prison. 

“He fainted once again in August and I heard that he was fine yesterday, but he died after fainting. It happened because he could not have proper medical treatment.”

Min Hein Khant was a member of Pazundaung and Botahtaung townships’ Youth Strike Committee and was arrested on Nov. 1, 2021.

He was sentenced to 27 years in prison under the Explosive Substances Act.

RFA phoned the junta’s prison department about his death but no one answered.

RFA News

Myanmar Junta Massacres Sagaing Resistance Fighters

Myanmar’s junta killed 24 Sagaing Region resistance fighters and two civilian administrators on Friday evening, according to rebel groups.

Troops stationed at the entrance of Myaung Township reportedly surrounded resistance fighters from the Chay Yar Taw People’s Defense Force (PDF) and other PDFs under the civilian National Unity Government.

“They were surrounded and trapped while they were moving from Myinmu Township to Myaung,” said Amara of the Civilian Defense and Security Organization of Myaung.

Residents said the bodies of 24 resistance fighters and two Myinmu Township Administration staff were found near Chay Yar Taw village on the Myinmu-Myaung road on Saturday.

The fighters were armed but they lacked automatic rifles and sufficient ammunition and surrendered to the surrounding force, the Myaung groups said.

Three of those seized managed to escape, they said.

Amara expressed the group’s sadness for the loss and called on other groups to consider their safety with similar massacres being reported in the area.

She said resistance groups were clearly being poorly led with unclear chains of command.

“These sad incidents have happened because each group is acting in an unruly manner. Who shall take responsibility for these losses?” she asked.

Further fighting with the junta was reported on Saturday with resistance groups entering Myaung Township.

Irrawaddy News

Human Rights Situation weekly update (September 15 to 21, 2023)

Human Rights Violations took place in States and Regions from Sep 15 to 21, 2023

Military Junta Troop launched airstrikes and dropped bombs in Sagaing and Mandalay Region from September 15th to 21st. Over 130 civilians including women from Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi Region and Kachin State were arrested and used as human shields. Military Junta burnt and killed a civilian from Shweku Township, Kachin State.  The families of political prisoners were extorted by prison authorities in Pathein Prison, Ayeyarwady Region.

18 Civilians died and over 29 were injured by the heavy and light artillery attacks of the Military Junta. They arrested around 50 civilians and killed 36 within a week. An underage child died and other 3 were injured by the Military junta committed violations.