Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar (4 July 2021)
Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Deaths and Arbitrary Arrests
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), as of 3rd July 2021, the total number of people being arrested in Myanmar has increased to 6,481, whereas 5,086 people were still detained, 1,964 people have been issued warrants, and the military ruthlessly murdered 890 people since February 1, 2021, when the military unleashed systematic, targeted and violent attacks against innocent civilians. Although 154 days have passed since the coup, the military terrorist group shows no sign of regrets. Instead, it continues committing its inhumane acts and arbitrary arrests against the civilians.
Release of Political Prisoners
On June 30th, the junta released more than 2,000 prisoners from jail. Among them are journalists, and students who participated in the protest earlier in February and March. Most of them had been held in jail for the charge of inciting people to participate in protest and taking part in protest themselves. Some of those released revealed that they were tortured seriously during the detention.
Brutal acts of the military junta
Shootings in the city: While the troops of the terrorist junta continue to shoot around cities, they opened gunfire in Tamwe Township in Yangon on June 29 after a police officer was shot in front of a branch of the Myanma Economic Bank. Although the police officer's status was unidentifiable, the troops began firing random shots in the respective residential neighborhood. Due to their inconsiderate act, at least two innocent civilians were injured.
“Pyu Saw Htee” is a pro-junta militia group. They consist of former military service members. On July 2 in Mandalay Region, they shot former executive members of the National League for Democracy, Mr. Moe Hein and his wife. They died on the spot. These are extrajudicial killings done by pro-junta militia covertly supported by the junta.
Raided Resistance Forces: A local resistance group in Sagaing Region was forced to withdraw as the terrorist military forces raided their post on June 28. During the raid, the People’s Defence Force-Kalay (PDF-Kalay) happened to fail to resist the military troops as they only had handmade guns with them. In contrast, the forces that attacked them deployed many troops to carry out the raid. The incident took place right after the military forces faced severe casualties in Kalay on June 26.
On the night of July 3, residents of Kalay, Sagaing Region reported hearing explosions and gunshots, typically in the Aung Mingalar and Taung Zalat wards. Afterward, those loud explosions triggered the death of an innocent man with heart failure.
Arresting under-aged teenager: Basing the death of traffic police in Mandalay Region on June 18, the terrorist military arrested an under-aged teenager, Ye Thura Zaw, who was only 15 years old at Myingyan police station. The rest of the family members are now in Myingyan prison. According to the arrested teenager’s mother, the wife of the traffic policeman even alleged the entire family members of Ye Thura Zaw as the culprit for her husband’s death and as if they were weapons, bombs, and guns keepers. The family is set to face their first hearing on July 2.
Continued killings in Depayin Township: Despite the growing number of local villagers leaving their homes due to fear of life and death, the murderous military forces continued their targeted attacks in the region and killed at least 30 people in Depayin since July 2. Following the attacks of the junta’s forces, the Depayin People’s Defence Force (PDF) made an announcement on social media on 3rd July stating the junta’s deployment of 150 soldiers in Satpyarkyin village. While the local villagers started fleeing to prevent themselves from getting unnecessary injuries, the soldiers abusively opened fire, indiscriminately, with heavy weapons without caring or considering the safety of the people. According to a Depayin resident, Depayin PDFs and locals retrieved 31 dead bodies, including both the members of the PDF and local civilians, after the fights ended between the Depayin PDF and the junta’s soldiers. Some sources of information also reported that the military forces opened fire at close range and caused six injured from the Depayin PDF.
Moreover, these sources even indicated that soldiers shot one local PDF in the leg at first. However, it was then dead as the military troops captured these local PDFs with similar injuries and shot them in the head at close range. The aftermath of the Depayin incident raised various hostile and troublesome consequences, especially for the elderly people. To this day, the junta continues to deploy their troops in Depayin, Yinmabin, Kani, Taze, Ayataw, and Mingin townships and recently raided the villages of Satpyarkyin and Boke.
Arresting and Intimidation of CDMers
The Civil Disobedience Movement is still standing as the most crucial pillar of resistance against the junta. The terrorist junta has arbitrarily arrested government personnel joining the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and torturing them upon arrest. On June 26, junta’s forces beat and arrested Zaw Moe Naing, a policeman of Pauk Myoma Police Station of Pakokku District of Magway Region, and his colleague Naing Naing Toe a.k.a Yan Naing Toe, a policeman of Min Ywa Police Outpost in Gangaw Township, both of whom have joined the CDM. Most of all, even the police Sub-Lieutenant Jorny a.k.a Thura from Chanayethazan Township Police Station in Mandalay Region was also arrested for joining in the CDM and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.
In addition, Soe San, a member of NLD representing Talsu Village of Wundwin Township, Mandalay Region, was also arrested on June 29 and died the day after. Though the eyewitness accounts stated that the victim had been beaten by the soldiers stationed at the Pintale Hospital, the junta’s forces put that he died from COVID-19. Another youth from Sagaing Region was also arrested on 1st July while helping people injured in a bomb blast. Only his dead body was returned to his family on the same day.
At the outset, Khit Thit Media reported that the Myanmar Embassy in Australia has been forcing Myanmar civil servants staying in Australia for further studies with scholarships to declare and pledge on a document to swear their non-involvement in the CDM. The Embassy’s letter to the scholars even threatens punishment if they fail to stand for the junta.
Non-stop Abductions of the junta
Yinn Htan Htal Yam from Puta-O Township, Aye Aye Myint, and Hnin Ei Ei San, a 14-year old girl from Kale Township, were arrested on June 28. On June 29, 8 family members residing in North Okkalapa Township were detained as the junta’s forces failed to find the judge who has been involved in the CDM. Next, on the 3rd of July, three women, a father, and an eighty-year-old grandfather from Bago Region were also separately abducted by the terrorist military junta when they could not find the specific activist they were searching for. Although several months have passed and domestic and international entities have been calling for the Myanmar military junta to stop its unjustifiable and inhumane act of taking hostages, they have ignored these calls and continued their coercions without any consciousness.
Persistent peaceful protests against the coup
Despite the terrorist military junta continuing its atrocities, breach of various domestic and international laws, and human rights abuses, Myanmar people within and outside of the country have been protesting peacefully against the junta and its supporters in multiple forms across Myanmar villages to urban cities. Given these peaceful protests, people’s strong demand for restoring democracy and the return of state power to the elected civilian government is apparent. They are sure to continue this persistent positive strength in unity. They are assured to fight against the junta until the revolution succeeds.
The rapid surge of COVID-19 in Myanmar
Until 1st February this year, Myanmar’s previous civilian government has been successfully dealing with containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the country through the generous assistance of neighboring countries and the international community, and cooperation of the general public on health regulations issued by the government. However, due to the illegal military coup staged on February 1, the entire scenario changed. Adding pressure and enormous challenges to this situation were the arrival of the new variant of Covid-19, resulting in serious health concerns for Myanmar people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 161,210 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 3,364 deaths in Myanmar as of July 2, 2021.
But the healthcare system under the military regime is deteriorating. The terrorist junta, although it continues its atrocities and brutal attacks towards its people, has carried out only limited preparations to contain the virus and provide healthcare to those infected. They have arrested many doctors and put out arrest warrants for doctors who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement. In this urgent healthcare crisis, the junta is running out of enough qualified doctors to care for infected patients.
MRTV is a news channel, which broadcasts the news for the junta. From what they show on the TV, netizens conclude that the safety and health standards of the COVID-19 centers built by the junta nowadays are worse than that of the other COVID-19 centers opened by the previous civilian government. Covid-19 treatment centers built under the leadership of the civilian government are equipped with latest healthcare screening devices, much cleaner in sanitation, well designed in rooms, and staffed by many doctors and healthcare volunteers round the clock. In contrast, junta’s centers are in shamble. They are opposite of everything that civilian government had done for people.
Furthermore, pro-democracy people refused to receive healthcare from military hospitals. Members of the health sector also firmly declined to work under the military junta.
International Pressure on the Illegitimate Military Group
On July 3, the US government expanded sanctions on four companies, seven members of the military junta, and 15 relatives of the previously sanctioned junta officials to increase pressure on the regime. According to the statement of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on July 2, this latest move by the US government aims to demonstrate the US’s continuous actions taken against the Myanmar military and to impose measures on the military and its leaders until they reverse course and provide for a return to democracy. To be precise, the companies included in the sanction list have been giving revenue and/or other support to the Myanmar military.
At the same time, the Swiss Federal Council also designated eight people and four entities in their third round of sanctions in response to those people and entities’ human rights violations. Individuals and entities imposed under EU sanctions will be subject to various restrictions ranging from freezing assets to travel bans.
Besides sanctions, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also urged the military to immediately release Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint after thousands of other people detained by the military junta were freed recently.
Progresses on NUG’s international engagement
Underscoring that ‘every second delay is driving more deaths,’ the French Parliament has been increasing its momentum to resolve the crisis in Myanmar and hold accountability to those responsible for the humanitarian consequences. Specifically, a hearing of NUG cabinet members at the French Senate Foreign Commission was held on June 30. During the hearing, members of the French Senate Foreign Commission clearly stated NUG as their only interlocutor. They said that they do not have any intention to collaborate with the junta. In addition, Parliament members unanimously stated that they would insist and firmly urge the French government to recognize Myanmar's NUG Government officially.
Date: 4 July 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York