Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (24 May 2021)
Deaths and Arbitrary Arrests
As of 24 May 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 5,408 people have been arrested whereas 4,301people are still under detention, 1,841people been issued with warrants and 824 people ruthlessly murdered by the military since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Already more than 110 days have passed since the coup, the military terrorist group has not stopped its inhumane acts and arbitrary arrests against the unarmed civilians until today.
The Junta’s Brutal Acts
According to the credible reports, the families of those injured and arrested are often not notified of the arrest of the victim, or of any injuries and are often only contacted after the death of the victim. Whether the people arrested were
given access to the medical treatment are still unknown even to their families. According to the news, a man, who was arrested during guarding the ward as a volunteer, and who was facing trial inside prison, died on 19 May, from insufficient medical care for his diabetes.
On 17 May, a young man was shot and detained with his wounds as junta forces raided a restaurant in Bago region. His family were notified five hours later that he was dead. A similar case occurred at night on 18 Mayin Pyay Township, Bago Region. It is that a man who was going home from barber shop was shot and taken away by junta forces. In the following morning, his family were informed to collect the dead body.
Youths and underaged children were also among the victims arbitrarily arrested by the junta forces. At night on 18 May, two 14-year-old children and an 18-year-old young man were beaten and arrested in Bago Region.
On 19 May 2021, in Taungdwingyi Township, Magway Region, a former village administrator, who worked under the NLD government of Sithar Gyi, and five other villagers were arrested, beaten and interrogated by junta forces. The village administrator was left dead, and the other five civilians sustained serious injuries.
On 20 May, at night, junta forces arrested a third-year university student majoring in Botany at Dagon University at a house in Mayangone Township, Yangon. According to the news, neighbours reported that this student was severely beaten while being arrested.
On 21 May, the junta troops shot and crashed the car in which two Kachin youth activists Seng Nu Pan and Lun Zung together with two other youths were riding. Afterwards, all of them were arbitrarily arrested.
On 21 May 2021, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old kids from Myeik, Tanintharyi Region were arrested and charged under Section 505(a)(c) of the Penal Code. Also, at that night, in South Dagon Township in Yangon Region, a final year medical student and a final year college student from the Myanmar Mercantile Marine College were arrested by an excessive number of junta troops.
On 22 May 2021, U Soe Myint Htein, an NLD Secretary of Yangon Region, was arrested at home in Hlegu Township, Yangon Region together with his wife and another person. Although his wife and the other being arrested were released, Soe Myint Htein remains under detention.
Continued murders by the Junta
At the night of 16 May, junta forces opened fire in Tedim Town, Chin State. Two youths from Tedim Town were killed. The death of one of the two victims is still under investigation. On 17 May at night, a civilian was shot dead in Daik-U Township, Bago Region.
On 17 May 2021, in South Dagon Township, Yangon, the family of a male victim who was arrested on 14 May received the dead body of the victim. According to the news, in order to get permission to cremate his body, his family had to sign the medical papers which stated the cause of death was from pre-existing health conditions, where, on the other hand, many wounds, bruises and injuries on the dead body showed that he was under the severe torture before his death. News also stated that the junta closely followed the funeral so that no photos on the dead body was taken.
On 19 May 2021, in Lay village, Okshitpin Town, Pantaung Township in Bago Region, a motorcycle mechanic was killed, and another man was shot and left wounded.
On the night of 19 May, in Chaung Gyi village, Thabeikkyin Township, Mandalay Region, a young man was killed after the junta chased, arrested, beat him in the face and shot him in the abdomen.
A civil servant, involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) was shot to death on 20 May, during the clashes in Mindat Town, Chin State.
On 21 May 2021, at the Daw Ngan Khar intersection, Demoso Township, it is reported that one of two men on a motorbike who drove away from being checked was shot and killed.
The Junta’s Irrational Acts
Destroying private properties: On 16 May 2021, the security forces raided the IELTS English training school in Muse Township in Shan State to find a wanted individual. As they could not find the warranted person, they destroyed materials inside the school. On 17 May 2021, junta troops stormed local shops and threatened to shoot the owners in Ka Myaing village, Thayet Chaung Township in Tanintharyi Region.
Extortion and bribery: It was reported that parents of detained children were asked to pay more than 5 million kyats (USD$3037) to the junta to release their child. However, their children have still not been released even after the payment was made.
Taking hostages: Lately, the junta forces is taking family members of the individuals in the warrant lists as hostages to arrest those individuals more frequently. On 16 May, at night, when the junta troops could not find a wanted man in Phang Fa Village, Chaungzon Township, in Mon State, his father was taken instead. On 19 May 2021, a wife, child and stepmother of a wanted activist from Seikkan village in Paungde Township, Bago Region were arrested when that activist was not found.
The Junta’s Crackdowns against protests
In recent days, the military terrorist group cracked down the protests in Myanmar by crashing the motorbike rallies or the protestors with the civilian vehicles and injuring many protestors as well as the civilians around the area, and arresting the injured people.
On 17 May 2021, a protest in Dawei, Tanintharyi Region was violently cracked down by security forces in the civilian vehicles. As those vehicles crashed into protesters, many protestors were injured and among them, seven civilians were arrested and one was shot with a rubber bullet.
On 19 May 2021, in Thaketa township, Yangon Region, three civilians were arrested when the polices forces used motorbikes and cracked down the civilians as they gathered for a university student protest.
Strikes against the military
Despite the serious crackdowns and arrest of the junta forces, the civilians around the country continue to express their desires for democracy and against the military coup. In addition to the protests on the streets, civilians perform different strikes including Flash strike, turn off light strike, tea shop strike, artist strike, etc. and posted on social media.
Clashes between the military forces and People’s Defense Force (PDF)
Following massive raids in Mindat Town on 16 May, the junta terrorists used heavy artillery and live ammunition across Mindat Town at that night. As similar engagement occurred on 17 May 2021, where the junta group fired heavy artillery, mortar shells and bombed into residential areas.The houses across the town were destroyed and a 10-year-old girl who was hiding inside a house was shot and remains in a critical condition. According to the news, junta troops have been violently damaging houses and shops, and looting goods. In addition to this, displaced civilians who have been hiding in the jungles are in desperate need of food, shelter, and medical supplies.
On 17 May, at night, the junta forces cut off the supply of drinking water in Mindat Township, Chin State. It was followed by cutting off electricity and telephone lines. By cutting off these facilities to the town, as the military tactics, the junta tried to make the locals become weaker and unable to regroup and resist. It is unacceptable on the humanitarian ground and pushes the people at extremely vulnerable situation.
On 21 May 2021, a clash occurred between the military and Chin Defense Force (CDF-Mindat) at BueKunn Village in Mindat Township Chin State.
Amongst the regions that are fighting back against the junta, Chin State is the one which is most targeted by these terrorists. Chin state has faced heavy attacks and severe repression by the junta. Fighting continues between the Chin National Defense Force (CNDF) and the junta. Although the weapons and forces of both sides are not equal, people are defending themselves against terrorism and atrocities of the junta with anything they can use as a weapon.
In Kanpetlet town, junta troops camped out at school and police station, forcing almost the entire town to flee. Junta troops raided Loklung village, close to Hakha Town, again forcing the entire village to flee. These civilians remain on the run.
In the evening of 16 May, in Hakha township, Chin state, there was a clash between the Chin State Defense Force (Hakha) (CDF-Hakha), and the junta terrorists.
Moreover, a 10-year-old child was killed in the bombing in Tedim Township, Chin State on 19 May 2021. News also reported that 6- and 10-years old kids were injured in the explosion.
On 23 May 2021, in Moebyel in Shan State bordering with Kayah State, the incident of firing civilian houses with artillery shells, destroying houses and injuring two civilians by the military terrorist forces was followed by the clash between the military and People’s Defense Force (PDF). This armed resistance has resulted in the death of at least 20 police. According to the local media, the police station was then burned down and four security forces were taken into custody. In addition, it is also stated that the military and security forces killed one civilian and five PDF members were injured during the clash.
On that day, in Demoso Township in Kayah State, it is reported that two youths who were bringing food for those fleeing from town were shot dead by the military forces and the military took away those dead bodies.
In response to the military atrocities, the armed resistance by the Karenni People Defense Force (PDF) in Kaya State has caused the death of 40 security forces in one day.
On 24 May 2021, in Loikaw in Kaya State, the military fired artillery shells into a Christian Church where the villagers are taking refuge due to the armed conflict. This attack caused the death of four civilians.
International Pressure on the Illegitimate Military Group
In response to the Military’s continued brutal repression of the people of Myanmar, on 17 May 2021, the U.S announced additional sanctions against 16 Myanmar officials and family members, in which thirteen of the individuals are key members of the Military regime and the rest three are adult children of previously designated military senior military officials.
On the same day, in addition to the sanctions previously imposed, the UK also announced sanctions on Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE), a state-owned enterprise under the military.
Aligning with the actions of the U.S and UK, Canada imposed additional sanctions against 16 individuals and 10 entities under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations.
On 21 May 2021, a joint statement by Save the Children, UNESCO and UNICEF alarmed that Education in Myanmar is at risk as over 12 millions of Children and young people have not had access to learning for more than a year, and called for safe environment for children to continue their learning.
On 23 May 2021, in response to the announcement of the military-appointed Chairman which the Union Election Commission (UEC) may dissolve the National League for Democracy (NLD), the European Union (EU) stated that the proposal of UEC would show the junta’s blatant disrespect for the will of the people of Myanmar. The EU also reiterated that the Myanmar General Election held in November 2020 represented the will of the people, and will continue to denounce all the attempts to overturn the will of the people.
Date: 24 May 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar, New York