Legal Perspective Information Sheet as of 15 January 2022, Permanent Mission of Myanmar, New York
The purpose of publishing this information sheet is to increase the awareness of people over the Crimes Against Humanity committed by the military junta terrorists on a daily basis and to keep a record of their brutal acts for future reference and proceedings. Due to space limitations, the only a selection of the crimes committed can be presented in this information sheet.
(1) Attacking and Looting Villages; Killing a child
Despite the arrival of a new year where people should be celebrating peacefully, soldiers of the Myanmar military raided villages in Sagaing Region and ravaged the peaceful livelihoods of the innocent villagers. At least 13 houses were looted in Lat Pu Kan village in Pale Township, and villagers from Pha Luu Gyi were reportedly driven to flee to the nearest border. Security forces of the military have been taking advantage of the situation and stealing the belongings of the villagers. As of 11 January, Myanmar Now reported that more than 7,000 people have fled their homes in Yinmabin and Salingyi Townships, Sagaing Region.
On 15 January, a 10-year old boy died after being shot in the neck by the security forces. The incident took place in Mingin Township, Sagaing Region when the soldiers raided Za Na Hpyin village and force all villagers there to move to a football field. It was the innocent boy’s 10th birthday. Additional killings are described in sections below.
(2) Indiscriminate Attacks with artillery against civilians in rural areas
As the clashes between the pro-democracy fighters and the security forces of the military expand, the latter has been almost every day indiscriminately firing artillery shells and harming civilians. Particularly on 1 January 2022, the first day of the New Year, a 16-year-old monk from Mingalar Zeya Monastery in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region, was killed on the spot due to the regime forces’ indiscriminate artillery attack.
Similarly, the military forces fired artillery shells in Taze Township, Sagaing Region, contributing to the displacement of 3,000 villagers from Kar Paung Kya Village. Villages there had been raided at least 10 times, and about 700 households had suffered from the military’s atrocities.
On 3 January 2022, the regime forces launched artillery shelling from a navy boat in the Ayeyarwaddy River toward nearby villages and hit a 20-year-old young man in the head, instantly killing him. Many civilian houses were burnt down as well.
Other indiscriminate firing of artillery was also witnessed in Kayin State. Moreover, the regime targeted Lay Kay Kaw again by launching heavy artillery 30 times during the first week of the New Year alone. In addition, the armed forces of the military have intensified assaults in Kawkareik Township, Karen State, by deploying heavy weapons on 11 January. They have been launching artillery at villages in southern Kawkareik.
In Shan State, the military’s artillery hurt three civilians—two children and one elderly person. It also used an MI-35 to launch a bomb attack on the Nyaung Pin Gyi Village and killed two civilians. The Myanmar military has been constantly failing to respect the principle of distinction of International Humanitarian Law despite its legal obligations.
(3) Disproportionate Use of Force by means of launching airstrikes
The regime sent its troops to the southern part of Chin State and deployed a large number of troops in Wetlet Township, Sagaing Region. News reports alarmed the public that the regime sent its troops to Nyaung Pin Gyi Village via a chopper and launched airstrikes and reportedly opened fire towards the surrounding area from the sky. Airstrikes launched on Gahe Village in Inndaw Township and Natchaung Viilage, Sagaing Region were also severe. Because of the incident, a woman died, three people disappeared and many houses were burnt into ashes. Many other civilian houses were burnt in Karenni State, Mainglone, Pankan and Loikaw, too. According to the news released by the KNU on the 74th anniversary of Myanmar’s Independence, the regime launched three bomb attacks via military aircraft in Kayin State and damaged a clinic. On 11 January, almost half of 50,000 residents living in Loikaw Township had fled the area due to the military’s gunfire, shelling, and airstrikes. These soldiers had also been targeting Demoso Township, another anti-regime stronghold.
Here, applying disproportionate use of force is clearly in violation of the basic principle of International Humanitarian Law in times of armed conflicts.
(4) Military lackeys committing atrocities and terror campaigns
Regardless of the casualties and damages, the regime’s forces even used a social welfare volunteer vehicle to attack the Peoples Defence Forces in Thaton Township, Mon State.
According to Myanmar Now, a bomb explosion took place in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region, and killed a doctor and two civilians. The attack was reportedly performed by the Pyu Saw Htee, a group of military lackeys organized by the military after the coup. Likewise, a 13-year-old child and nine other civilians were also arrested and used as human shields in Matupi Township, Chin State, and eventually killed on 8 January 2022. Among those killed included the founder and chief editor of Khonumthung Media Group who was also working at The Hakha Times. Recently on 12 January, the group raided Zana Byinn Village in Sagaing Region’s Minkin Township and an eight-year-old boy was shot dead just because he asked the soldiers to give the villagers’ their mobile phones back.
These armed wings of the military have also been committing crimes in Wetlet Township, Sagaing Region, and other parts of the country. They have been doing this since the military equipped these groups with arms, and choppers are also put at their disposal. In this regard, they have been carrying and testing weapons around the cities and attacking pro-democracy civilians and activists anarchically. From these incidents, the international community can clearly witness that Myanmar military is also sponsoring and committing terrorism.
(5) Torture and Enforced Disappearances of Civilians
At the outset of the military’s vicious military moves across the nation, its security forces are also misusing their authority to hurt the civilians. On 2 January 2022, a video leaked showed four soldiers beating a man on the street in the middle of the town without a reason. Again, in Thanlyin Township, another man who is known to be an Action Actor, was also shot and abducted. The victim lost his finger in the incident, injured severely in the leg and had not received any medical treatment yet.
In addition, the military has been abducting the families of the members of the major political party. A prominent case was their abduction of the wife and son of a Mon Regional Minister. It was reported that the wife was shot in the hand and guns were fired randomly in the surrounding area during that day. RFA Burmese Media has also collected data that 489 members of the major political party have been detained, while 14 are dead and almost 90 of its offices have been destroyed. In addition, houses of NLD members and supporters have been sealed.
Likewise, in Taze Township, Sagaing Region, two youths who are both under twenty years old, were taken into custody, and later on the regime forces posted a video showing them being forced to shout that they are from the Mingin PDF and that the uprising must fail. But in fact, they were brutally tortured with their necks tied by iron chains. Lately on 4 January 2022, a Senior Clerk at Ma Hlwa Kone Diesel Factory for Myanmar Railways, who is involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), was arrested and beaten to death on 5 January 2022 during interrogation.
With reference to the news from Myanmar Now, there are growing numbers of people dying in different prisons during their interrogation. U Myo Naing, from Pakokku Township, Magway Region, who was detained since October last year, was reported as dead to his family members on 3 January 2022. Authorities from the Prison Department responded that his death was due to pre-existing health conditions, an illogical excuse often used by the military, and which the victim’s family members do not accept or believe.
Likewise, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) had collected strong evidence which prove that some of its members detained at the Mandalay Palace Interrogation Centre, a place where detainees are subjected to cruel torture, have been denied medical treatment, are immensely suffering from life-threatening tortures and have been sexually assaulted. Another young man who was under a warrant since July last year and arrested on 1 January 2022 was killed on the same day during his interrogation in Taungoo, Bago Region.
Ref : Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
: Myanmar Now
: RFA Burmese