Myanmar press notes December 10
We are appalled by the alarming escalation of serious human rights violations in Myanmar. In the last week alone, security forces killed and burned 11 people – including five minors – and rammed vehicles into protesters exercising their fundamental right to peaceful assembly.
More than 10 months after the Myanmar military overthrew the democratically elected government in a February coup, the human rights situation in the country is worsening on an unprecedented scale, with serious violations reported daily of the rights to life, liberty and security of person, the prohibition of torture, the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression.
Today, the courageous and resilient people of Myanmar celebrated Human Rights Day and their opposition to the coup with a universal silent protest.
On December 7, a unit of the Burmese army was reportedly ambushed with a remote-controlled explosive device in Salingyi commune in the Sagaing region by militias. Security personnel reportedly responded by raiding the village of Done Taw and arresting six men and five minors – the youngest of whom was 14 years old.
The 11 men were later found burned by villagers who said they saw fire coming from the area. Villagers said the human corpses were deformed into shapes that appeared to try to shelter each other and escape burning huts.
In a separate incident on December 5, security forces from Kyimyindaing Township in Yangon rammed a vehicle into unarmed protesters, then fired live ammunition at them, killing several people.
These attacks are heinous, heinous, totally unacceptable and disregard the common values of humanity. They are also far from isolated.
In recent weeks, we have received numerous reports of burnt villages, including protected structures such as places of religious worship and residential buildings.
In the town of Thantlang, Chin state, credible sources report that the military torched 19 civilian and religious buildings and 450 homes in 10 different incidents. A few weeks ago, in Kayah state, villagers were reportedly burned to death when the structure in which they were trying to take shelter was set on fire by security forces.
Since the coup, General Min Aung Hlaing’s forces have repeatedly failed in their obligations under international law to protect the people of the country. As a result, over 1,300 people lost their lives and over 10,600 others were detained.
These latest grave violations demand a firm, unified and resolute international response that redoubles its efforts to hold the Myanmar military to account and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.