Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Almost nine months have passed since the coup; the Myanmar military group is still ignoring the will of the people, putting the country into turmoil with disproportionate actions when the people are facing the nationwide health crisis under the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 13 November 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,260 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 10,143 people have been arrested, 7,251 people have still been detained, and 1,954 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Atrocities committed by Military
According to AAPP, on 6 November 2021, it is reported that a civilian named Zin Wai Aung, living in Daydanaw Village in Kungyangon Township of Yangon Region, was killed by the military forces due to torture during interrogation on the day of arrest.
On 7 November 2021, a house in Pauk Pin Village in Monywa Township of Sagaing Region was wrongly raided by the military forces, and a resident named Mya Lay Nwel was shot dead in the chest and neck while she was running away in fear.
On 8 November, a civilian named Ye Naing Aung, a.k.a Ko Ye, living in Natt Village in Htantabin Township of Bago Region, was arrested on suspicion following a bomb blast at the village administrator’s office. On the next day, his family was informed to retrieve his body.
On 9 November 2021, a civilian named Win Aung Latt, living in Daydanaw Village in Kungyangon Township of Yangon Region, was shot dead by the military while fleeing in fear of the military’s raid in the village. Also, a civilian named Min Zaw Oo in Daydanaw Village was dead due to injuries consistent with torture during interrogation. He was arrested on 6 November while in a tea shop and was being sent to Yangon General Hospital.
On the night of 10 November 2021, a youth named Wai Thu Aung from Sa Khan Ma Village in Natmauk Township of Magway Region was shot dead by the military, and another civilian named Hein Myat Thu was beaten and arrested while they were playing a game at the entrance of the village.
In the early morning of 11 November 2021, a civilian named Wai Linn Thu, working at a rubber field in Jat Gar Village in Pulaw Township of Tanintharyi Region was shot dead by the military troops.
On 11 November 2021, near Shan Kalone Village in Kawlinn Township of Sagaing Region, the bodies of three civilians, whom the military arbitrarily arrested on 7 November, were found in a field with gunshot injuries and with their hands tied behind their backs.
On the same day, during the raid by the military troops in Aung Si Myay Village in Tabayin Township of Sagaing Region, the military troops arrested and took a resident named Thein Htike to the forest at the south of the Village, where they shot him dead at the back of his head at close range.
During the night of 11 November 2021, two gangrapes were committed by many members of military forces at the At-Lwal village, TeeTain township of Chin State. In both cases, the soldiers invaded the civilian households in the middle of the night, brutally tortured the husbands, robbed their money, and repetitively raped the women. In one case, a 30-years-old woman who had been pregnant for seven months was gang-raped by two soldiers around 1130 pm and at 0230 am of the next day. In another case, the victim was the 29-years-old woman who gave birth to a baby one and a half months ago, and she was ganged raped to 3-4 times by three members of the terrorist military group.
It is reported that a civilian named Kyaw San Oo living in Zee Kone Village in Pobba Thiri Township of Naypyitaw was tortured to death during interrogation on 12 November. He was arrested on 15 October and then transferred to Htonebo Police Station in the Township of Pobba Thiri, and after that, a lawsuit was filed against him.Afterward,before his death, he was interrogated for almost two weeks at Ywar Taw Interrogation Center.
Arrests by Military against the Civilians
According to AAPP, in Ka Nine Dar Village in Dawei Township of Tanintharyi Region, the military forces came to arrest a civilian named Thiri Moe, who is the Vice-Chairman of Dawei University Students’ Union. When the targeted one was not found, her mother and younger sister were arrested as hostages by plain-clothed forces of the military on the night of 8 November 2021.
On 9 November 2021, a university student named Yoon Lei Po, living in Makyikone Gyi Village in Myothit Township in Magway Region, was arrested by the military forces for alleged association with the People’s Defence Force (PDF).
On 11 November 2021, a civilian named Win Shwe was detained as a hostage when the military did not find his son Ye Kyaw Swar. The latter is an NLD campaigner of Taungdwingyi Township in the Magway Region and Secretary of A Phyu Yaung Thitsar Emergency Rescue Team in the township.
Military’s Disproportionate Actions
According to AAPP, the military tribunal sentenced a third-year Chemistry Student named Thinzar Zaw, a member of Dagon University Student’s Union, to 10 years in prison under Section 124-B(a) of the Penal Code. It is also reported that Sithu Aung Tin, who is one of the six students arrested, including Thinzar Zaw, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 3 November 2021.
A local news agency reported on 9 November 2021 that the military sentenced the ousted Chief Minister for Karen State Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint to 75 years in prison and former municipal minister U Than Naing to 90 years in prison by accusing them of violating tender and financial regulations in infrastructure development projects in Karen State in southeastern Myanmar.
It is also reported that on 12 November 2021, the ousted Chief Minister of Tanintharyi Region U Myint Maung, who was placed under house arrest following the military coup on 1 February, was detained again on 9 February, and was prosecuted, was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a special court under the military.
According to local media, on 12 November 2021, the military sentenced the detained U.S journalist Danny Fenster, arrested on 24 May at the Yangon’s airport, and then sent to Insein Prison for11 years in prison.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 8 November 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the NUG released Statement No (7/2021), “Statement on the United Nations Security Council’s Private Meeting on Myanmar,” held on that day. In the statement, it was explained that the NUG had been established with the democratically elected representatives from the 2020 elections, and the NUG’s Permanent Representative has been attending the United Nations Security Council and the UN General Assembly meetings. The NUG welcomed the meeting of the UNSC and recalled the reports and statements of the high-level officials and representatives of the United Nations in the past nine months. In the statement, it was informed that the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to the General Assembly had cataloged military crimes that include murder, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks against healthcare workers, the arrest of human rights defenders and journalists, the dismantling of due process protections, the indiscriminate bombing, etc.
The statement further highlighted the military’s weaponization of the COVID-19, which fueled the spread of the virus, claimed the unknown number of otherwise preventable deaths, and placed the region at grave risk. In contrast, the statement has recalled the decision by ASEAN to ban representatives of the illegal military junta from attending the 2021 ASEAN Summits, which represented a recognition of the security and humanitarian risks committed by the military. Through the statement, the NUG has implored the UN Security Council to take actions, including adopting resolution on the political and humanitarian situations in Myanmar, referring the situation in Myanmar to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, supporting ASEAN’s efforts to implement the Five-Point Consensus while ensuring that the Security Council continues to take its complementary actions on Myanmar, formally recognizing the NUG as the legitimate representative of Myanmar, and immediately commencing the process of listing the Myanmar Armed Forces as a terrorist organization.
Also on 8 November 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government announced(7/2021) regarding the policy of the NUG on sanctions. In the announcement, the NUG explained its support for responsible business investments that contributes to national development and respects the human rights of Myanmar citizens. The NUG further reminded that the SAC had been declared as terrorist organization. It has paid no respect to the rule of law, harmed people, and refused to recognize the democratically elected representatives. The NUG finally informed that foreign firms must not provide assistance, support, and communicate through their business activities to SAC.
On 10 November 2021, the Ministry of Health of the NUG made an announcement (11/2021) regarding the situation and health care activities in Myanmar. In the announcement, it was explained that the Ministry of Defense of the NUG had issued codes of conduct and rules of engagement to mitigate harm to the public during the revolution against the terrorist military dictatorship, and at the same time, the Ministry of Health is cooperating with friendly groups and associations to provide continuous healthcare for the people during the revolution. The NUG informed in the announcement that the terrorist military council has been using healthcare as a guise and front and has been trying to make political gains out of it as it arbitrarily arrested and killed healthcare and charity workers and targeted, intimidated, and threatened the individuals, national and international organizations that are involved in assisting prevention and control of COVID-19 pandemic and other major infectious diseases. The NUG has strongly denounced and condemned such activities by the terrorist military council and urged and appealed to the international community to intervene in a timely manner to prevent and avert such transgressions and infringements.
On 12 November 2021, the National Unity Government-issued instruction manuals on using solar systems in households. Through the post, the NUG has informed how the Ministry of Electricity and Energy has prepared to reserve the electricity at hospitals, healthcare centers, and other essential areas and for the least impact on the lives of the civilians, particularly during the revolution time against the terrorist military. The NUG, by issuing the manuals of using the solar system, further encouraged the civilians to prepare for themselves, especially to use the solar electricity system, which is eco-friendly and cost-effective.
On 10 November 2021, the Ministry of Economics and Commerce of the NUG has released the announcement (2/2021) regarding terrorist business enterprises. In the statement, it was explained that the importance of sanctions and actions against the businesses owned or backed by the military junta played a vital role in the eradication of the military dictatorship in Myanmar. The business empire of the terrorist military group has gained a large number of profits annually. It was found out that Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) have supported the military coup and used the military power to do many businesses. The NUG has announced the MEHL, MEC, and their affiliated businesses as terrorist business enterprises and registered them on the blacklist. In the announcement, the NUG further declared that any individuals or business groups that consume, trade, or store the products of those enterprises and work with those enterprises would be regarded as the supporter of the terrorist military group and charged according to the law.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
At the United Nations daily press briefing on 8 November 2021, when one year has passed since the 2020 election of Myanmar, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, remarked on Myanmar that in November 2020 election in Myanmar, the election polls were deemed free and fair by domestic and international observers, and National League for Democracy won approximately 80% of the elected seats, yet the military coup on 1 February then overturned Myanmar's democratic process. He stated that the United Nations reiterates its call on the military to respect the will of the people and put the country back on track to democratic transition.
On 8 November 2021, which marked the one-year-anniversary of the November General Election in Myanmar, the United States reiterated its call for the military to end the violence immediately, release all those unjustly detained, and return the country’s path to a genuine and inclusive democracy through the statements of the U.S Secretary of State and the Spokesperson for the U.S Department of State.
On this day, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom issued statement, reiterating their condemnation of the military coup in Myanmar and calling for the military to end the violence, to release political prisoners, and to engage in dialogue to return to democracy.
The Foreign Ministry of Canada also issued a statement on 8 November, calling the military to implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, engage in constructive dialogue with stakeholders, and allow unhindered access for humanitarian assistance. It further called for the cessation of violence, respect for human rights, and release of all individuals unjustly detained, as well as underlined their support for the aspirations of the people of Myanmar and those working for peace and democracy.
On 10 November 2021, the United Nations Security Council issued Press Statement on Myanmar, expressing deep concern at further recent violence across Myanmar and calling for an “immediate cessation of violence to ensure the safety of civilians.” The Statement reiterated the member states’ full support for the positive and constructive role of ASEAN in facilitating a peaceful solution in the interest of the people of Myanmar. It further called for the swift and full implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus. It underlined the support for the ASEAN Special Envoy’s visit to Myanmar at the earliest opportunity to meet with all parties concerned. The members of the Security Council also reaffirmed their support for the people of Myanmar and the democratic transition in the country, as well as their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, and unity of Myanmar.
On 12 November 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said 2021 that the conviction and harsh sentencing of the U.S journalist Danny Fenster by a military court in Myanmar is unfair trial, and the journalists in Myanmar have been facing constant repression since the military coup. She added that the military had detained at least 126 journalists, media officials, or publishers, and of those, 47 remain in detention. High Commissioner stated that the attacks on journalists and the media, internet shutdowns, restrictions on free access to online and other data sources exacerbated the vulnerability of vast sections of society and urged the military to release every journalist detained for their work immediately.
Date: 14 November 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York