Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Already ten months have passed since the coup; the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people and putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate actions.
As of 11 December 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,329 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 10,889 people have been arrested, 7,954 people have still been detained, and 1,964 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Nationwide Silent Strike
A nationwide silent strike took place on 10 December 2021, International Human Rights Day, after a massacre in Sagaing and an inhumane car-ramming attack on protesters in Yangon. People across the country closed businesses and stayed at home and staged a ‘Silent Strike’. The nationwide silent strike was followed by the calls of the anti-military activists and the National Unity Government for people to leave the streets empty between 10 am and 4 pm.
In addition, people posted photos on social media of themselves wearing black shirts and posturing a three-fingered salute. Local news media released photos of deserted streets and markets in numerous towns and cities, including Naypyitaw. The strike also coincided with the International Human Rights Day. The Silent Strike brought loudest voice to the world and it is a clear testimony of the people’s desire for longing of democracy restoration in Myanmar.
Massacre committed by the SAC’s forces
According to Myanmar Now news, eleven unarmed people were captured and massacred by the military forces in Done Taw Village in Salingyi Township of Sagaing Region on 7 December 2021 after around 100 soldiers reportedly raided the village at around 11 am.
The villagers found the burnt bodies of the 11 victims; some with their hands tied and assumed that they were burnt alive. According to a local resident, the victims were taking shelter in a hut while running away from the military raiding the village, and when the soldiers found them, they beat and burnt them. It is reported by the Done Taw PDF that all the victims were males, including 5 teenagers under the age of 18 and a 40-year-old with paraplegia, and the paraplegic man was the only victim who was not a member of Done Taw PDF. Most of the victims were reportedly unrecognisable from being so badly burnt. There was a video filmed by locals on social media showed a group of burnt bodies lying in various positions in a pile of ashes with still-rising smoke.
It is reported that early on that day, Done Taw PDF attacked a convoy of military vehicles using three homemade explosives near the North Yamar bridge, which is about 300 meters from the village. Then soldiers began searching for the assailants nearby woodlands and entering the village. The raid reportedly led people fleeing from nine villages in Salingyi and neighbouring Yinmabin Township.
Earlier this year after the groundless military coup, the military forces massacred dozens in Kani in Sagaing as well.
Discovery of Charred Bodies
According to the credible reports, the burnt bodies were found in the village of Oh Myay Htoo in Kalay Township of Sagaing Region on 5 December 2021. The victims were reportedly believed to be Lal Ro Mawi (24 years old) and Ngun Nei Thang (50 years old). They were captured separately the previous weekend and taken into custody on 4 December 2021.
A person concerned from the Chinland Defence Force (CDF) said that Lal Ro Mawi may have been used as a human shield and then burnt alive. In accordance with him, despite it was difficult to confirm the identity of the burnt body, the family of Lal Ro Mawi believes that it is him.
The body of Ngun Nei Thang was also severely charred and disfigured, but one of his sons recognized the shirt on the body and said the facial structure of the skull resembled his father.
According to the local sources, Oh Myay Htoo village was raided by the military early December and the military torched 10 houses in the village during the raid.
Activities of the National Unity Government
The National Unity Government released an announcement dated 9 December 2021 on annulment of all guilty verdicts brought against the President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political activists. It declared that the false accusations and concocted initial charges made on the President, State Counsellor and political activists including all those innocent members of the Ethnic Communities are deemed invalid and thereby the verdicts made are null and void. It also stated that judges, law officers and the police force who are illegally serving under the terrorist military council since the coup are aiding and abetting their treacherous activities.
International Response to the military’s Conviction and Sentencing of Myanmar’s democratically elected State Leaders
The conviction and sentencing of State Counsellor and President by a military-controlled court on 5 December 2021 has been responded with international condemnation. Many States, in particular United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Japan and the European Union denounced this verdict of military and called for the release of all those arbitrarily detained since the coup and for the restoration of democracy in the country.
In response to the sentencing of State Counsellor in Myanmar, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said at the daily press briefing on 6 December 2021 that the Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of the military coup on 1 February and repeats the call for an immediate end to the violence and repression and for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Myanmar.
On 6 December 2021, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the conviction and sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor to four years of imprisonment and called for her release. High Commissioner said, “the conviction of the State Counsellor is not only about arbitrary denial of her freedom – it closes yet another door to political dialogue.”
Special Rapporteur on the situations of human rights in Myanmar – Mr. Thomas Andrews – derided the military’s verdict against Myanmar’s State Counsellor and President as the “theatre of the absurd” on 6 December 2021.Special Rapporteur added that this conviction of the military demonstrates the reasons why the international community must take stronger action to support the people of Myanmar and deny the military’s revenue and weapons needed to continue their illegitimate grip on the people of Myanmar, and in addition, called upon member states to significantly increase pressure on the military.
On 8 December 2021, the United Nations Security Council issued the Press Statement on Myanmar, expressing deep concern at the sentencing of State Counsellor, President and others, and reiterating the calls for the release of all those arbitrarily detained since 1 February 2021.Stressing their continued support for the democratic transition in Myanmar, the members of the Security Council underlined the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, to refrain from violence, and to pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar. They also called on to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people and to uphold the rule of law.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the military’s barbaric acts
At the daily press briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson of UN Secretary-General on 6 December 2021, Spokesperson Mr. Stéphane Dujarric said that the Secretary-General condemns, in the strongest terms, the killing and injuring of unarmed civilians by the security forces in the incident of 5 December 2021 in Yangon, when a military vehicle rammed into the unarmed protestors.
In the Press Release of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on 9 December 2021, it is underlined regarding the situations in Myanmar that following the military coup, the IPU has received specific reports of human rights violations against 55 parliamentarians, including threats, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrest, torture, ill-treatment, and criminal charges with no apparent justification, as well as the sentencing of Myanmar’s State Counsellor and President on 5 December. It is also stated that the IPU is closely monitoring the situation of the Myanmar parliamentarians.
In response to the alarming escalation of grave human rights abuses in the country, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said on 10 December 2021 that these attacks and acts of the military are heinous and unacceptable, and disregard common values of humanity, stressing that a firm, unified and resolute international response and redoubled efforts are needed to pursue accountability for the Myanmar military and the restoration of democracy in the country. Furthermore, regarding the silent protest of the people of Myanmar on 10 December, he remarked, “today the courageous and resilient people of Myanmar have marked Human Rights Day and their opposition to the coup with a universal silent protest”.
Date: 12 December 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York