Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
After 220 days 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.
Nevertheless, demonstrations against the military, anti-coup movements,and pro-democracy activities are still actively and coordinately continued across the country.
On 19 September 2021, multiple rallies were reportedly held in Mandalay to mark the 33rdanniversary of the shooting death of Ms. Win Maw Oo during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. It is also reported that plains-clothes armed men turned up in a protest and shot and arrested protesters.
Deaths and Arbitrary Arrests
As of 18 September 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of people 8,265 have been arrested, 6,613 people have still been detained, whereas 1,984 people have been issued with warrants, and 1,109 people were ruthlessly murdered by the military since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.
Cutting off Internet Access in Sagaing and Mandalay Regions
According to the local news agency, it is reported that the military has cut off internet access in several townships in Sagaing and Mandalay Regions, where there are strong anti-military resistance movements.
In Kani, Mingin, Yinmabin, Pale, Shwebo, and Budalin townships in Sagaing Region and Mogoke and Myingyan townships in Mandalay Region, the military has blocked the mobile and wifi internet services from three leading telecom operators – MPT, Telenor, and Oredoo since 12:30 pm of 14 September 2021.
A spokesperson for the Kani-PDF told the local news agency – the Irrawaddy, that as the military has imposed internet blackout in the region, it means that it is planning to attack civilian resistance forces in the region, as well as to ensure that the residents do not share information on social media.
Never-Ceasing Fierce Killings and Tortures
Mr. Than Aye, a 60-year-old-NLD Party member of Waw Township in Bago Region, was reportedly arrested in Letpan Thone Pin Village in Waw Township on 13 September 2021. He then died on the same day due to torture during interrogation. His body was reportedly cremated by the SAC’s security forces on 14 September 2021 without informing his family.
On the evening of 14 September 2021, in Khin Palu Village in Wunra Village Tract in Salin Township of Magway Region, Mr.Naing Linn, an executive member of the NLD party of Salin Township in Magway Region, was reportedly shot many times by the police at his home. He later died once he arrived at the hospital.
On the night of 14 September 2021, it was reported that Mr. Thet Lwin Oo was shot while trying to run away from the military forces that arrested him at his home in Bekho Village in Twantay Township of Yangon Region. The forces accused him of being in the PDF, and his body was taken.
On 14 September 2021, it was reported that ten soldiers wearing plainclothes raided and opened fire into Taung Bet village in Magway Region’s Pauk Township and arrested 42-year-old Ms. Sandar Win with 18 million Kyats. She was then shot dead at close range to the back of her head. The locals said Ms.Sandar Win was helping to raise funds for a local armed group.
The military troops reportedly raided Kyaukse Village in Kalay Township in Sagaing Regionon 14 September 2021 and set two houses on fire. Moreover, they killed a 55-year-old named Mr. Thaung Myint and another elderly man sheltering at the monastery.
Mr. Zin Min Oo was reportedly died on 15 September 2021 in Shwebo Township in Sagaing Region, who was seriously injured after arrest and tortured by the military. He was arrested with four other local people by the military on 2 September 2021 while returning home from Shwebo Industrial Zone. Mr. Zin Min Oo, Mr. Naing Myo, and Mr. Oakkar Oo reportedly received serious injuries and were sent to the hospital that night. Among them, Mr. Naing Myo reportedly died on the following day due to injuries from consistent torture.
It is reported that a pregnant woman named Mrs. Kay Zin Kyaing, living in Aungban Township in Shan State, was beaten on her back and legs by the military forces during interrogation after she was arrested at home on 15 September 2021. On September 17, she was sentenced to two years imprisonment under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code.
Mr. Yan Naing Oo, a husband of Mrs. Thida Aye, an NLD Executive Member, reportedly died on 16 September 2021 in Kyaikhto Township in Mon State after four days of his arrest. It is reported that he was beaten and arrested on 12 September when the military did not find Mrs. Thida Aye in Bikekar Village of Kyaikhto Township.
Similarly, during the first week of September 2021, a 14-year-old Mr. Khan Wai Linn @ Khant Ko Ko Thet, a son of the NLD Chairman Mr. Kyaw San Linn for Taung Lelkan Village in Taungthar Township, Mandalay Region, was reportedly detained as a hostage when the security forces did not find his father.
Military’s Explosion and Attacks in Chin State
Multiple armed clashes between the military forces and Chinland Defense Forces (CDF) reportedly occurred in recent weeks in Thantland and Hakha Townships in Chin State.
On the night of 18 September, it was reported by the local news agency, namely “Chindwin” that the residents in Hakha City, the capital of Chin State, suffered from the explosions and gunfire by the military wherein several properties were damaged during the blast. It is the incident for Hakha City being attacked again by the military, as the people have endured the terrors under the attack of the military and have no place to hide and run since two weeks ago.
Likewise, a few hours earlier on this day, according to the local media “The Chinland Post,” it is reported thatthe military attacked Thantlang, a town just 23 miles from Hakha, where the military forces burned down more than 19 houses.
In addition,a Christian pastor Mr. Cung Biak Hum, was reportedly shot dead by the military while he was rushing to assist with putting off the fire. According to a local resident, after killing the pastor, the military forces cut off his fourth finger and snatched away his wedding ring, necklace, watch, and mobile phone. Mr. Cung Biak Hum has two children, and his wife is currently pregnant.
According to credible reports, almost allresidents from Thantland Town have left the town and sought shelters in safer zones while many are crossing the Indian border. The continued military’s warlike behaviour increases thousands of residents fleeing their homes for safety.
Raids and Arrests in Yangon
According to the Myanmar Now news, the military forces reportedly started raids from 13 September 2021 in five townships across Yangon after resistance forces carried out several recent attacks. The raids majorly targeted young and new tenants of apartments.
On 13 September 2021, at least five people, including three men and two women, between 17 and 23 years old, were reportedly arrested at an apartment in Sanchaung Township. Furthermore, six students from Dagon University were reportedly arrested at an apartment on 39th Street in Kyauktada Township on 14 September 2021. On 15 September 2021, it was reported that at least 20 more young people were arrested during the military raids in four townships in Yangon. A young man was reportedly killed when 50 soldiers and police officers raided and stormed gunshots at the apartment on 22nd Street in Latha Township.
In the afternoon and at night of 15 September 2021, three people in Lanmadaw Township and three more people in Sanchaung Township, and eleven people, including six men and five women, in Kamayut Township were also respectively arrested during military’s raids at different apartments.
On 16 September 2021, plainclothes troops raided an apartment in 16th Street in Lanmadaw Township again,and a man, a woman, and a dog were taken into their custody, according to the eyewitness.
A resident from 22nd Street told news media (Myanmar Now) that the military arrested at least three young men, and one of them was forced to kneel down in the middle of the street, was beaten so badly, and there was a lot of blood. Soldiers even threatened to shoot the residents if they came out and looked. The apartments were sealed off, the military troops seized the belongings and even loaded them into a large vehicle.
On 9 September 2021, the military ordered homeowners and landlords in Yangon and other cities to provide ward administrators with detailed information about all residents and short-term tenants living in their properties. The SAC warned that anyone who fails to register short-term tenants or is later found to have carried out an attack against them would lose the ownership of their apartments or houses.
NUG’s Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Sagaing and Magway Regions of Myanmar
Sagaing and Magway Regions of Myanmar have been a recent focus of Tatmadaw operations, where grave commitments leading to violations of human rights law and humanitarian law have been incurred. Concerning the human rights situations happening in Sagaing and Magway Regions, the Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government of Myanmar issued a statement on 18 September 2021 highlighting emblematic incidents that occurred in the Regions received by the credible reports.
The statement also included its recommendations and requests to the Human Rights Council and UN member states as follows:
(a) Take clear and immediate steps to support Myanmar to stop Tatmadaw atrocities, including starving the military of weapons, supplies, and revenue. This meets the call of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the international community to ‘stand united in pressuring the military to halt its continuing attacks on the people of Myanmar and return the country to democracy, reflecting the clear will of the people.
(b) Ensure that UN agencies, funds, and programmes deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected regions, including Sagaing and Magway, using land corridors from neighbouring countries as well as by air and sea, in partnership with Myanmar and in ways that do not accord legitimacy to the Tatmadaw.
(c) Support accountability efforts by Myanmar, including providing it with technical assistance to collect information on alleged violations and abuses, contribute to the work of OHCHR, the IIMM, and the Special Procedures, and engage with the International Criminal Court.
(d) Support Myanmar in preventing Tatmadaw reprisals against persons that contribute to the work of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.
(e) Strengthen the Human Rights Council’s attention on the human rights situation in Myanmar, further to Human Rights Council resolutions 46/21 and 47/1 and General Assembly resolution 75/287.
International Actions and Remarks
At the opening session of the 48th Human Rights Council (HRC) held on 13 September 2021 at the UN Geneva, Mrs. Nazhat Shameen Khan, President of HRC, said that the Council would proceed with the three interactive dialogues on Myanmar as scheduled, without the participation of the country concerned.
At a virtual annual meeting with ASEAN economic ministers held on 13 September 2021, the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to send its special envoy to visit Myanmar as soon as possible to promote dialogue.
The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Myanmar, Mrs. Christine Schraner Burgener, remarked on her Twitter on 14 September 2021 that“the military did not my welcome consultations for an all-inclusive dialogue in the interest of the people, and I regret this clear lack of will for a peaceful solution which could have prevented other stakeholders from feeling they have no choice but to seek violent means.”
On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on 15 September 2021, the Embassy of Switzerland in Yangon issued a post on social media that Switzerland strongly hopes for Myanmar to return to the path of democracy soon.
On the same day, the Embassy of the United States (U.S.) in Yangon announced on Facebook that the U.S stands with the people of Myanmar in their aspirations for freedom and democracy, calling on the military to end violence, to release those unjustly detained, and to respect the will of the people.
The Embassy of the United Kingdom also stated that the UK stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar, acknowledging the strength and resilience of the people in their resistance against the military coup and the military’s oppression.
The European Union remarked on the International Democracy Day, calling for an unconditional recognition of the results of the November 2020 election and immediate restoration of democracy in Myanmar.
On 18 September 2021, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tom Andrews remarked through Twitter on the military’s explosion and the bombing of homes in Thantlang in Chin State, calling on the world to pay closer attention and act.
Date: 19 September 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York