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Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (24 October 2021)


Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar


(24-10-2021)


Almost nine months have reached 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 23 October 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,196 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 9,175 people have been arrested, 7,016 people have still been detained, and 1,955 people have been issued with warrants since 1 February 2021 when the military unleashed systematic and targeted attacks and violence against innocent civilians.


Nevertheless, demonstrations against the military, anti-coup movements, and pro-democracy activities are still actively and coordinately continued.


Candlelight Vigil: On the Full Moon Day of Thidingyut, on 20 October 2021, the people of Myanmar across the country, from children to the elders, staged a candlelight vigil by expressing opposition against the military rule. People also participated in the candlelight vigil by uploading photos with candles and writing their opinions against the military on social media. Thadingyut is not only a holy day but also a lighting festival for the Myanmar people.


Rearrests of the Released Prisoners


According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), of the thousands of prisoners released on 18 October 2021, at least 110 people were rearrested almost immediately after they were released. Some prisoners were taken back as soon as they arrived home. Those who were released have gone into hiding to avoid being rearrested.


The AAPP documented that an elected MP and ten other members of the NLD were among those who were rearrested after their release from Meikhtila Prison in Mandalay Region.


The arrest of the Veteran Pro-Democracy Activist


On 23 October 2021, it was reported that Mr. Kyaw Min Yu (a.k.a Jimmy), a leading member of the ’88 Generation Students Group, and a leader of current democratic movement, was ruthlessly arrested by the military forces during a raid at a house the Pinlong Housing complex in North Dagon Township of Yangon.


It is learnt that during the arrest, he was severely injured in his head and sent to the Defence Services General Hospital in Minglardon Township in Yangon. He remains in critical condition at the hospital.


The military issued an arrest warrant for him on 13 February 2021, accusing him of inciting unrest and threatening public tranquility for writing on social media.

The situation of Thousands of Displaced People within Magway Region and Chin State


Thousands of displaced people from Gangaw Township within Magway Region and from Thantlang Town in the north of Chin State urgently needhumanitarian aid and medical supplies.


According to a local news agency, thousands of residents from Hnan Khar Village in Gangaw Township of Magway Region have been displaced from their homes after military troops have severely targeted the village. It is reported that the military troops have raided the houses, looted the properties, arrested people arbitrarily, and killed civilians, as well as torched around 50 houses during September.


Local sources reported that displaced residents due to the military raids in the village fled across the Myitthar River and stayed in the sandbank, the opposite side of the river, by building temporary shelters. However, due to severe flooding in the place, the people have to flee again, and they are now in need of food and medical supplies.


Since early last month, the Thantland town in the north of Chin state has been targeted by the military, with the brutal acts of shooting and massacring people, burning down houses,and shelling the town. Many residents were forced to flee their homes due to these incidents, and the ensuing chaos spread across the villages along the mountainous border with India. Locals said that no one dares to live in the town anymore. According to local aid workers, it is reported that with an estimated 7,225 people displaced from the Thantland, the situation is becoming dire. Thousands of displaced people are now in urgent need of food supplies and emergency medical care.


Continuous Brutal Killings by the Military against the Civilians


On 18 October 2021, the military soldiers in plainclothes attacked an anti-coup protestor in Mandalay. It is reported that when the protestors were marching in Maha Aung Myay Township in Mandalay in the morning, over 50 military soldiers drove their vehicles into the march. Residents say the soldiers kicked and struck the protestors with their weapons, then dragged them into a military truck. From this attack by the military, almost 20 civilians were injured, and ten people were arrested.


Mr. Linn Paing Soe, an engineering student at Kyaukse Technological University, who led protests in Naypyitaw and Mandalay, was reportedly killed in Mandalay Nann Twin Interrogation Center on 1 October. He was arrested on September 30, and eighteen days later, on 18 October, it was discovered he had died during interrogation.


On 20 October 2021, the soldiers raided Wat Chaung Village in Akani Village Tract, Yebyu Township in Tanintharyi Region. During the raid, a local villager named Mr. Kyi Thein (70-year-old) was shot and detained with a gunshot injury to his leg. On the following day, his family was informed to collect his dead body.


On 20 October 2021, in Kan Gyi Village in Kantbalu Township of Sagaing Region, Mr.Tin Tun and his son Mr. Kaung Thiha were detained by the security forces. They were arrested while going to Chat Thin Police Station after five police officers requested them to bring motorbikes to leave the police station to join the CDM. It is reported that the request was a trick and, the father and son were later shot dead on 21 October 2021.


It is reported that two people were killed when the military forces opened fire at a tea shop at Pandalal Village in Lounglon Township of Tanintharyi Region. During the incident, Nay Nay was reportedly killed on the spot, and Ohn Ni died at the hospital. Three other locals remain in serious condition from gunshot injuries.


On 24 October 2021, in Homalin Township in Sagaing Region, the military troops reportedly raided the home of protest leader Mr. Kyaw Win Sein. During the raid, the troops shot dead Ms.May Hnin Aye, the sister-in-law of Mr. Kyaw Win Sein, and she was a teacher involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). Mr. Kyaw Win Sein was evading the arrest.


Mr. Naing Htoo Lwin, ‌a medical student of the University of Medicine 2 of Yangon, who was serving in the medical department of the Chin National Army, was shot dead on 15 October 2021 after he was detained in Falam Township in Chin State. It is reported that the body of Naing Htoo Lwin was found at Lone Pi Ward on 23 October 2021.


New Restrictions against Travelers at Airports


Last week, the SAC’s Ministry of Labour issued new rules that ordered airports to deny boarding to people without special ID cards. In the new restrictions, it is required for anyone leaving Myanmar to have an Oversea Workers Identification Card and PJ passport.


It is reported that starting from 22 October 2021, immigration staff at airports began turning away the people with passports issued for non-work visits (PV passports) even they were holding work visas. In the past, people with PV passports were allowed to work abroad.


Activities of the National Unity Government


Violation of women’s rights by the security forces of the State Administration Council (SAC) during conflicts: On 21 October 2021, the Ministry of Women, Youths and Children Affairs and the Ministry of Human Rights Affairs of the National Unity Government jointly released a press statement on the release of the report regarding the violation of women’s rights by the security forces of the State Administration Council (SAC) during conflicts.


The statement explained that the report aims to reveal the regime’s oppression against women, hold SAC accountable for its inhumane, and promote and protect women’s rights. It was based on the documented cases and information collected on the arbitrary detention, torture, murder, sexual violence on women committed by the security forces within the eight months from 1 February 2021 to September 2021. The statement also informed that the report would be distributed to the UN’s rights bodies and international women's rights organizations.


Special report on the human rights situation in Chin and Kayah States: On 22 October 2021, the National Unity Government released a statement regarding the special report on the human rights situation in Chin and Kayah States. This special report follows the September report on Sagaing and Magway Regions.


In the statement, it was informed that the NUG’s report found that the military’s atrocities in Chin and Kayah States, when added to those previously reported in Sagaing and Magway Region and elsewhere, demonstrates a widespread and systematic pattern of attacks conducted against civilians at the direction and in the full knowledge of the military leadership. The statement further explained that recommendations for the international community were put in the report.


Activities of the Myanmar Permanent Representative at the United Nations General Assembly


Interactive Dialogues withthe Secretary-General’s Special Envoy and Special Rapporteur:On 22 October 2021, two Interactive Dialogues, with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Mrs. Christine Burgener, and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Mr. Thomas Andrew, were held in the afternoon of 22 October 2021, at the 76th session of General Assembly in New York. As the representative of the National Unity Government, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun participated in both dialogues virtually.


During the dialogues, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun explained the on-ground and updated situation in Myanmar, including the continued atrocities committed by the military against the people of Myanmar, the steadfast resistance of the people against the military, and the ongoing activities of the National Unity Government as well as the NUG’s cooperation with the international community.


Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations, participated in the committees’ meetings at the 76th session of General Assembly in New York and made interventions at the Third Committee and the Sixth Committee, during the week from 18 to 24 October 2021.


The Memorandum on the heartbreaking situation in Myanmar was issued as the UN document A/76/406 dated 14 October 2021. In the Memorandum, the titles included are the introduction, developments in Myanmar under the civilian government before the military coup, the military coup and its following situations, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the National Unity Government, and conclusion. Under those titles explain the all-around development of Myanmar and its human rights situation compared to the heartbreaking and deteriorating condition in Myanmar after the coup until today.


Actions and Remarks by the International Community in response to the Military Coup d’état


In response to the release of detainees by the military in Myanmar, the UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews issued a statement on 18 October 2021 that while the announcement by the military of the release of over 5,000 political detainees is welcome, all those detained illegally were suffered to the date; many were tortured, some were dead, and their human rights were violated. He remarked that the announcement of the military was not because they had a change of heart but because they were pressured from inside and outside of Myanmar. He added, “sustained pressure on three fronts – money, weapons, and legitimacy – is the best way the international community can support the people of Myanmar to protect their human rights and save their country.


The UN spokesperson stated on 19 October 2021 that besides one million people in Myanmar who were in need at the beginning of the year, an additional two million people were necessitating help after the military coup. The Spokesperson said that “the UN once again calls on parties concerned to ensure that aid can be scaled up to reach people affected by the continued armed conflict.”


On 21 October 2021, the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar,Christine Schraner Burgener, said Myanmar has spiraled to civil war following the military coup. The path to democracy is disappearing. She urged the governments and the United Nations not to signal any acceptance of the military and to protect the will of the people of Myanmar.


At the third committee meeting of the 76th UN General Assembly on 22 October 2021, the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener reported that Myanmar is facing enduring conflict amid the economic collapse and ongoing violations of human rights. She remarked that as long as the military remained in charge, the prospects of Myanmar would remain bleak. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas H. Andrews, called for action in response to crimes against humanity perpetrated by the military in Myanmar.



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Date: 24 October 2021

Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York