Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (16 October 2022)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Over twenty months ago on 1st February 2021, the Myanmar military attempted an illegal coup, toppled the civilian government, and unlawfully detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other senior members of the civilian government, parliamentarians and activists. Since then, the Myanmar military has ignored the will of the people of Myanmar, placed the country in turmoil, and made people suffer with inhumane and disproportionate actions.
As of 14 October 2022, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the military ruthlessly killed 2,356 people, arrested 15,853 people, and 12,655 people remain in detention, whereas 126 people have been sentenced to death, including 84 post-coup death row prisoners and 42 in absentia since 1 February 2021, when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians. Four democracy activists who were given the death sentence were executed by the military junta in July 2022. At least 780 houses and buildings have been sealed off by the military between February 2021 and September 2022.
Serious crimes committed by the Military
Killing Innocent Civilians
Mizzima News reported that on 9 October 2022, the military troops opened fire indiscriminately and randomly outside the Myanmar Commercial Bank in Monywa, the capital of Sagaing Region, shooting dead a young man.
Myanmar Now News reported that a prisoner named Nay Myo Oo was transferred to Myingyan Prison in Mandalay Region on 3 October to serve a one-month sentence for drunk and disorderly conduct, and four officials viciously beat him to death within a day of his arrival. It was reported that he is a resident of Nabu Village in Taungtha Township of Mandalay Region.
AAPP reported that on 12 October 2022, the military forces arrested three villagers from a farm near Hgnet Pyaw Taw Village in Kyunhla Township of Sagaing Region, under accusation of being People’s Defence Force (PDF) members. Two of the villagers were tied up with ropes at their backs and shot dead. The other one, a 14-year-old child, was released.
According to Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), military forces arrested and killed two villagers from Katoe Village in Butalin Township of Sagaing Region on 11 October 2022. On 13 October 2022, the dead bodies were discovered by the villagers. Those killed by the military forces were Kyaw Myint Oo (32) and Zaw Min Khaing (26).
According to AAPP, a political activist named Hnin Nu Nu Lwin, who has been issued a warrant under Section 505A in April 2021 for protesting against the military coup, has evaded arrest and was staying in Mandalay. It was reported that the owners of the house where she was staying were arrested at night on 10 October 2022. Those arrested were women, who are her friends.
It was reported that on 11 October 2022, the military forces arrested a CDM middle school teacher named Thandar Oo and five NLD members, namely Win Oo, Aung Sann Win, Win Hmi, Moe Htwe and Yii Win from Sanpya Village in Pwintbyu Township of Magway Region.
Displacing civilians in Banmauk Township
Myanmar Nows News reported that during the first week of October 2022, there has been a clash between a military column consisting of 300 troops and anti-military fighters within Banmauk Township of Sagaing Region, and the fighting has continued. It was reported that since 4 October 2022, the fighting started in the area about 15 km southeast of Banmauk township.
The clash affected more than a dozen villages in the region, and forced thousands of villagers to flee their homes. It was also reported that the clash took place east of the villages of See Maw, Kyauk Ai, Pae Pin and Taunggyi, and the residents from those villages and other nearby villages have also been displaced.
Local residents said that two displaced villagers, including a 10-year-old child, have died, as they stepped on landmines laid by the military forces. Those who died from the landmines were villagers from Kyauk Tan Village, and they were a 10-year-old child named Phway Phway Khaing and 20-year-old villager named Yin Htay.
Attacking the villages within Shwe Kuu Township
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that during the second week of October 2022, the military forces attacked the villages within Shew Kuu Township of Kachin State, and due to the military’s brutal attacks over 500 residents were displaced. A local resident said that since 12 October 2022 the military forces brutally raided and attacked the villages of Nat Linn, Naung Let Kyi and Winwa, which are located in the West of Shwe Kuu Township.
It was reported that over 200 displaced villagers stay in the monastery in Shwe Kuu Town, while over 300 more people are in the monastery located in Moe Kink Village, and other displaced people have to stay in the homes of their relatives and friends.
Sentencing Myanmar State Counselor and other civilians
According to the news, a military court has sentenced Myanmar’s State Counselor to two three-year prison terms for corruption on 12 October 2022, to be served concurrently. It was reported that the Judge of the Mandalay Region High Court delivered the verdict at a closed-door hearing in the Detention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. As the State Counselor has already been sentenced to 23 years in prison, the military’s additional sentencing on 12 October brought her total term to 26 years’ imprisonment.
The Irrawaddy reported that on 13 October 2022, a military court in Nay Pyi Taw sentenced U Aung Naing Oo, who is the head of security for the State Counselor, to 10 years in prison. It was reported that he was sentenced in prison under the Official Secrets Act for the information leaked to Ko Jimmy, a prominent political activist who was executed in July this year.
Sentencing a Japanese Journalist
News reported that on 12 October 2022 the military court sentenced a Japanese Journalist named Toru Kubota to an additional three years in prison for breaching immigration laws. He was arrested while he was filming, taking images and videos of an anti-coup protest. According to the Irrawaddy, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for breaching a law that criminalizes spreading information detrimental to state security, peace and tranquility, and for three years for encouraging dissent against the military, and he will serve those sentences concurrently.
Activities of the National Unity Government
On 10 October 2022, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations, delivered a statement under agenda item 64: Rights of Children - General Discussion at the Third Committee of 77th session of UN General Assembly. He said that Myanmar reiterates the appeal to the United Nations to take swift and decisive action, especially for the protection of the lives and rights of children, and it is well overdue that the international community including the UN Security Council must take responsibility to protect Myanmar’s people.
On the same day, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement under agenda item 78: Crimes against Humanity, at the Sixth Committee of the 77th session of UN General Assembly, and said that the UN Security Council must use the admissible evidence of atrocity crimes being committed by the Myanmar military to refer the situation to the ICC, as the Council did twice in the past.
On 11 October 2022, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, and appealed to the countries exporting arms, associated technologies and machine tools to the military regime to immediately stop doing so. He stressed that the lives of the people of Myanmar depend on the decisive actions - to stop selling the weapons and associated technologies to the Myanmar military.
On 12 October 2022, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement under agenda item 85: the Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, at the Six Committee of the 77th session of UN General Assembly, welcoming the ongoing efforts to bring Myanmar’s unwanted and unlawful military leadership, perpetrators of war crimes and crime against humanity, to justice through the application of universal jurisdiction across the world.
On the same day, at the Second Committee of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, the Permanent Representative delivered a statement under agenda item 24: Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition. The Permanent Representative stated that as long as the ruthless military remains in power, the people of Myanmar will continue to suffer development regression, food insecurity and malnutrition, and it will not be feasible to accomplish SDGs, especially Goal 2 under the fascist military. He urged the international community to provide a bold and effective economic, political and humanitarian support to uproot the military dictatorship and restore democracy in Myanmar, as only the duly elected civilian government with restoration of democracy can implement appropriate measures and course of actions to bring the country back on track in terms of economic stability, development, food security and nutrition.
On 13 October 2022, the Permanent Representative made an intervention under agenda item 68: Dialogue with High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the Third Committee of 77th session of the UN General Assembly. In his statement, he stressed that given their consistent patterns of lawless behaviours and sense of impunity, the military junta will not stop committing atrocity crimes until they are stopped.
On the same day, the Permanent Representative made an intervention under agenda item 68: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, at the Third Committee of the 77th session of UN General Assembly. He underlined that the people of Myanmar together with international organizations and international community have repeatedly pointed out the situations in various means, but the situations have not stopped and are still occurring in a larger scale.
On 14 October 2022, the Permanent Representative made an intervention at the interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, particularly at the Third Committee of 77th session of UN General Assembly. In his intervention, the Permanent Representative stressed that there are numerous witness testimonies about the cruel and inhumane treatment committed by the military against the detainees in Myanmar.
On the same day, the Permanent Representative made an intervention under agenda item 68: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, at the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, at the Third Committee of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Permanent Representative said that right to information and freedom of expression in Myanmar are severely limited by the military, and the military never respects, protects, and fulfills the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and only spreads disinformation and propaganda to deceive and inflict harm on civilians.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état
On 10 October 2022, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for the unconditional release and for tough international sanctions to prevent Myanmar’s military from pursuing its vicious crackdown, in response to the military’s sentencing of the reporter and commentator Sithu Aung Myint to three years in prison in Myanmar. It is stated that Myanmar is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2022 World Press Freedom Index.
On 12 October 2022, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas H. Andrews, submitted the report to the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. It underlined that the unconscionable acts of the military of Myanmar of having executed four political prisoners including a prominent pro-democracy activist and a former member of parliament, are consistent with the junta’s unflinching embrace of violence against the people of Myanmar. It was mentioned that the military forces have systematically bombed and burned villages and massacred innocent civilians, as well as killed thousands and displaced nearly one million people since the coup. The report stressed that many of the more than 12,000 political prisoners have been tortured and an unknown number have died in custody. The Special Rapporteur also outlined the human rights and humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar, as well as described the essential and awe-inspiring work being done by Myanmar civil society in the most challenging of circumstances. The report explained that the fate of Myanmar depends on the activists, organizations, and networks that have risen up to defy military rule, defend human rights, and prepare for a free and democratic future, and they need and deserve a significant increase in support from the international community.
France condemned in the strongest possible terms the new prison sentence imposed on Myanmar’s State Counselor on 12 October 2022, stating that this new sentence undermines the rule of law once again and shows that the individuals who seized power in February 2021 seek to discredit Myanmar’s State Counselor and to permanently exclude a legitimately elected civil leader from political leadership. France reiterated its call for the immediate, unconditional release of all those who are being arbitrarily detained, including State Counselor and President as well as its call for an end to the violence committed by Myanmar’s security forces.
Date: 16 October 2022
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York