Weekly Updates on Current Situation in Myanmar
Already 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 6 November 2021, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a total of 1,243 people were ruthlessly killed by the military, whereas 9,846 people have been arrested, 7,079 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.
Humanitarian and Security Situation in Myanmar
According to a humanitarian update of Myanmar by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs updated on 5 November 2021, an estimated 223,300 people remained internally displaced across Myanmar as of 1 November 2021 due to insecurity and clashes following the military coup in Myanmar.
The humanitarian update underlines that the security situation continues to deteriorate in Chin State, Magway Region, and Sagaing Region for the reinforcements of military troops and armed clashes between the military troops and local resistance forces, resulting in further people displacement and increased humanitarian needs. In these regions, it is reported that the escalation of armed clashes has displaced approximately 37,000 people since May.
Escalation of Military Operation in Pekhon Township
The local news reports that armed clashes between the military troops and the anti-military resistance groups intensify in Pekhon Township in southern Shan State bordering Kayah State. According to resistance groups and locals, the military has been deploying reinforcements to Pekhon Township and firing artillery shells into the civilian areas since 27 October 2021.
Furthermore, according to credible reports, the military recently launched the offensive operation in Pekhon Township and the eastern part of Mobye township. An estimated 500 troops are now stationed in Pekhon. It is also reported that hundreds of military forces have been sent to Lwel Whel village in Pekhon Township, where the military burned down houses in this village on 3 November 2021. Due to the escalation of the military operation and deepening clashes, nearly 4,000 residents in Pekhon Township are fleeing their homes.
Atrocities Committed by the Military
According to AAPP, the head of a boarding school and his three brothers from Chauk Township of Magway Region were arrested on 31 October for being accused of supporting the People’s Defence Force (PDF). It is reported that the head of a boarding school died from injuries consistent with torture during interrogation, hours after the arrest, and his family was informed on the next day to retrieve his body.
On 1 November at around 3 am, a teacher named Win Lwin, living in Ywar Bo Village in Sintgine Township of Mandalay Region, was arrested, as he was involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). The military detained five villagers further, and three out of them were released in the evening. Win Lwin died from injuries consistent with torture, and on the next day, his family was informed to retrieve his body.
On the evening of 1 November 2021, three villagers from Thayet Kan Village in Khin-u Township of Sagaing Region were shot dead by the military when the soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members passed the field in two cars and opened fire
On 2 November 2021, a civilian named Aung Aung, a.k.a A Nge Lay from Moe Thar Village in Kathar Township of Sagaing Region, was detained and forced to guide the terrorist troops. On the following day, he was shot dead, and it was found out that a forehead gunshot wound was on his dead body.
On 2 November 2021, military vehicles passed through near Mal Ma Thaw Village in Maung Township of Sagaing Region around midnight, and a 17-year-old civilian, who went to look out the military vehicles, was shot dead.
The military troops have been stationed in Taung Maw Village in Kawlinn Township of the Sagaing Region since 2 November 2021. On 3 November, four civilians, including a high school teacher, were killed by the military. On 3 November 2021, the military troops raided Nat Myaung Village in Kalay Township of Sagaing Region, and a local villager named Nyi Nyi Linn was shot dead.
On 5 November 2021, a mother of a two-year-old child named May Zin Kyaw living in Taze Township of Sagaing Region was shot in the head in an unprovoked shooting by the soldiers and died on the spot. On this day, she was at home when the military forces fired following the bomb blast near No (2) Basic Education High School, where the military troops were stationed.
Unstoppable Disproportionate Actions and Arrests against the Civilians
According to a local news agency, National League for Democracy (NLD), party stalwart U Win Htein, who is the 79-year-old former military captain and was arrested in early February for condemning the military coup leader in media interviews, was sentenced to a 20-year-prison at the tribunal in Nay Pyi Taw on 29 October 2021. It is reported that U Win Htein has been on trial under Section 124a of the Penal Code, and the two-judge tribunal presided over by judge Ye Lwin handed down the maximum sentence.
According to AAPP, On 3 November 2021, a reporter of Ludu Kalaung Journal named Nyunt Lwin, a.k.a Ya Wai Maung living in Myaungmya Township in Ayeyarwady Region, was arrested by the military for composing a poem about a fire in Htantalang Township in Chin State.
On the night of 3 November 2021, four women, including a tenth-grade student in Thandwe Township of Rakhine State, were arrested for allegedly providing financial support to the People’s Defence Force (PDF). On the next day, one of them was released, and it was reported that the other three women were detained and charged under the Counter-Terrorism Law.
In the early morning of 3 November 2021, the military troops came to arrest a civilian named Lu Lu Zaw in Kadat Nge Htein Village in Lounglon Township of Tanintharyi Region. When the military did not find the targeted one, the wife of Lu Lu Zaw, his two-year-old child, and his uncle was arrested as hostages.
A local news agency reported that on 2 November 2021, the military troops raided the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) office in Myawaddy Town in Karen State on the Thai border and detained four members. According to an ABSDF official, the reason for detention remains unclear. The ABSDF stated on the 33rd anniversary of its founding on 31 October that it would join hands with anti-regime forces to fight the military dictatorship.
On 3 November 2021, Ms. Thinzar Zaw, a member of the Dagon University Students’ Union and a third-year chemistry student, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment under Section 124-B(a) of the Penal Code by a military tribunal. Six students, including Thinzar Zaw, were arrested on 14 September 2021 in Kyauktada Township in Yangon. Mr. Sithu Aung Tin, one of the six students, was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Actions and Remarks by the International Community in Response to the Military Coup d’état
On 1 November 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Thomas H. Andrews, stated on Twitter that due to the heavy deployment of troops and artillery in Chin State and the torching of Thantlang township, the UN Security Council needs to act now to stop the flow of revenue and weapons that the military needs to continue its assault of the people of Myanmar.
On the International Day to end impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November 2021, the United Kingdom called on the military to release all media workers in Myanmar detained and allow journalists to work without fear of arrest or intimidation.
On 4 November 2021, 521 domestic, regional and international civil society organizations called on the UN Security Council to convene an urgent meeting on the horrendous incidents and escalating attacks in Chin State of Myanmar to address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian, human rights, and political crisis in the country, and to impose a global arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons and dual-use goods to the Myanmar military. On behalf of these organizations, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a statement, calling on the UN Security Council to act beyond statements and to take concrete action by adopting a resolution that consolidates international effort to resolve the deepening crisis in Myanmar.
On 5 November 2021, Nicholas Koumjian, the head of Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, told UN reporters that following the military coup, the mechanism has received more than 200,000 communications and has collected over 1.5 million items of evidence, including photographs, videos, testimonies, and social media posts. He said that the collected preliminary evidence shows a widespread and systematic attack on civilians in Myanmar, amounting to crimes against humanity. He added that the mechanism is analysing and verifying the preliminary evidence and items of evidence to bring those most responsible for the serious international crimes in Myanmar to account.
Date: 7 November 2021
Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations, New York