Legal Perspective Information Sheet as of 6 March 2022, Permanent Mission of Myanmar, New York
The purpose of publishing this information sheet is to increase the awareness about the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes committed on a daily basis by the military junta terrorists and to keep a record of their brutal acts for future reference and proceedings. Due to space limitations, only a selection of committed crimes are stated in this information sheet.
Over one year and one month since the illegal military coup, the inhumane Myanmar military, under the name of the so-called State Administration Council, has been continuously conducting enormous numbers of crimes against civilians and seriously violating domestic and international laws. Throughout this period, it has been continuously intensifying efforts in various forms to suppress the anti-military movements.
1) Indiscriminate airstrikes and artillery shelling
In Karen State, residents have been fleeing their houses due to the indiscriminate airstrikes and other forms of attacks committed by the military. Nearly all villagers living in the state are becoming forcibly displaced as bombings and other attacks are taking place in their surroundings almost every day. Most of all, elderly people and women are facing health problems as a consequence of lacking of shelter and food. These groups of people have also lost access to take refuge in the border area after the closure of refugee camps by Thailand officials. Providing humanitarian assistance has also been facing barriers at this end.
During February, the terrorist military conducted heavy artillery attacks in Kayah State’s Demoso Township and damaged a church. When Mya Lel Village was targeted, many displaced persons’ and other civilians’ houses were damaged by fire. Besides, Sagaing Region was also targeted by the military as usual. In Pay Chaung Village, the terrorist military frequently used heavy weapons and burned the entire village. After that, they continued to Karutaw Village and attacked that village using heavy weapons as well. In this incident, a house was hit and two locals, including a child, were injured by the military’s atrocities. The terrorist military also used fighter jets to launch attacks onto the villages in Demoso Township during the last week of February.
Similarly, Taung Pyin Nge, Palu Zawa, Auk Yae Twin and Aung Thukha were also targeted by the terrorist military with airstrikes carried out in Ye U Township, western Sagaing Region. Inhumane security forces of the terrorist military detained approximately seventy people, including elderly persons and young children, and surrounded the village and continued to randomly fire on the villages.
Likewise, Chin State, Mindat Township was among the targets of the vicious military. During the second week of February, 13-year-old Maung Hung Ki was killed after he was hit by an artillery shell fired by regime forces travelling on the Mindat-Matupi road. The young boy died instantly while he and his family were trying to flee. Based on the data collected from reliable sources, almost 10,000 people have been displaced due to the Mindat fighting, and they are currently suffering from severe shortages of food and medicine.
Intensive clashes also took place on 16 February in Mobye, Shan State, as the terrorist military launched heavy artillery against civilian areas. Many civilian houses were burned down along the Pathein-Monwya road on 17 February. Moreover, the military used heavy weapons to attack and destroy four villages in Kantbalu, Sagaing Region, on 19 February, despite there having been no clashes in the area. While people were fleeing for their safety, three civilians were hurt, more than twenty people were arrested and three villagers died due to the terrorist military’s indiscriminative artillery attack.
Since the start of the attempted coup, the terrorist military has been failing to distinguish between military targets and protected civilians during armed conflict. Sadly, under-aged children were among the victims of the terrorist military’s indiscriminate attacks.
2) Setting fire on civilian houses as a form of collective punishment
The terrorist military forces and its paramilitary wing raided Muak Tat and Mote Thar villages located in Min Kin Township in the early morning on 10 February. While the entire Mauk Tat Village was burned, another 170 civilian houses were also burned down in Mote Thar Village. During these incidents, nearly 300 houses were burned by the inhumane military forces, and four villagers who were on guard duties were also arrested. Reliable media sources stated that there were in fact no clashes in the said areas.
In early February, the military forces burned 20 houses in Patee Village, Tant Se Township. The blazes after the fire also badly damaged 100 civilian houses as well as crops and livestock. Due to the military’s atrocities, the area is now left in ashes. Notably, the military also burned another 20 houses in Aung Moe Village, Yinmarpin Township, Sagaing Region, forcing locals to flee their homes.
According to Myanmar Now, in Sagaing Region alone, the soldiers torched 80 houses from four villages within the first two weeks of February. Damages in Chin State’s Thantlang are also significant. Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) and sourced by Myanmar Now, identified that military forces set fire to additional houses in Thantlang during the third week of February. The military, without any sympathy or sense of guilt, even cut off transportation routes and the supply of commodities to Thantlang Township to make scarce food and basic necessities, including medicines, for those displaced persons who are already hiding in fear and going through various difficulties.
* Incident in Shwebo
Recently on 25 February 2022, security forces raided a village in Shwebo Township in Sagaing Region in the early morning at 5:00, continuously launched heavy weapons at the village and burned down the village. During the raid, 15 People’s Defense Forces members lost their lives, and numerous local villagers were also reported killed. The exact number of casualties could not be confirmed by the time of issuing this update, but a local said that almost the entire village had been burned to ashes.
From these grievous incidents, the international community can learn that the terrorist military has been systematically and widely using collective punishment as the main method of warfare even though it is strictly prohibited by International Humanitarian Law.
3) Arbitrary arrests
During early February, so-called security and police forces tightened their investigations in Mandalay Region all day long and arrested around 20 people, including a monk, in Mahar Aung Myay Township. Most of those who were arrested on that day were youth leaders and activists involved in peaceful protests, and some protest leaders were under warrants by the military. As they are now in the hands of the inhumane military, their lives are at risk. Witnesses to the scene also stated that those arrested were already punched and severely beaten during their abduction.
In mid-February, second-year student Maung Kaung Chan Myae Shan from Taunggyi was abducted in Mandalay Region, and his parents and aunt were also arrested with him. A close neighbour of their family said the military might have come after his brother, a doctor who has been participating in the CDM.
In addition, on 28 February 2022, a designer was arrested by the police for posting political content on Facebook.
4) Violating freedoms of expression and press
Since February 9, two protest leaders and two freelance journalists, namely Ko Thura Aung (protest leader), Ko Phoe Lone @ Ko Ye Zin Htun (protest leader), Ko Soe Lin Aung (freelance journalist) and Ko Hla Myo Aung (freelance journalist), have been abducted and tortured in Mandalay. They were arrested during a raid of a house in Maharaungmyay Township. Reporters Without Borders (RWB) stated that 60 journalists/reporters have been abducted by the military as of February 13. By arbitrarily arresting individual civilians, blacking out the internet and arresting journalists, the terrorist military is violating the right of freedom of expression of Myanmar people on a daily basis.
Recently, military-imposed communication blackouts were reported across Karenni (Kayah) State as the fighting between the regime troops and resistance groups intensified in the area. Blackouts, weak phone and internet signals took place across the state, particularly in Demoso, Hpruso, Loikaw Townships, where clashes intensified. On the Union Day, which falls on 12 February 2022, the military deliberately shut down the internet across the country.
5) Neglecting the spread of disease and right to health
It was reported that more than 700 employees working at the Myanmar Asia Optical Factory had tested positive for COVID-19 by the end of January 2022. However, when 906 employees; 10 from Nay Pyi Taw, three from Kachin State, 43 from Sagaing Region, 232 from Bago Region, 130 from Magway Region, 69 from Mandalay Region, three from Mon State, 21 from Rakhine State, 279 from Yangon, four from Shan State and 112 from Ayeyarwaddy Region, took leave to observe the Chinese Lunar New Year, the military allowed these people to travel without any restrictions. Also, despite knowing that the high infection rate was likely, it was not announced and has been kept secret by the junta’s Ministry of Home Affairs. During the third wave of COVID-19, the junta was irresponsible, and now it is again deliberately enabling the spread of the deadly and infectious disease among the people.
6) State-sponsored crimes committed by the Paramilitary Wing
On 22 February 2022, one of the paramilitary wings of the terrorist military fired artillery shells in Ngar Phar Village in Kale, Sagaing. Two men were arrested in the operation and tortured and killed inhumanely.
On 25 February 2022, they raided and set fire on Hna Ma Sar Yit Village in Shwebo, Sagaing. Because of the fire, a 77-year-old woman died in the bathroom where she was hiding. Two other locals who attempted to run away during the incident were also shot dead.
On 28 February 2022, they assaulted villages in Gangaw, Magway Region and seven locals from Shwebo Village were killed. Among them, five were arrested, their hands tied, and they were burned alive. The other two were shot dead.
Reference : Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
: Khit Thit Media
: Myanmar Now
: RFA Burmese