Widespread Arrests, Torture, Disappearance of Civilians under High-level Burma Army Operation in Ho Pong after Fighting with NCA signatory RCSS/SSA

During July 16-30, 2017, hundreds of Burma Army troops from at least eight battalions patrolled through three village tracts in Ho Pong township, southern Shan State, arresting and torturing civilians, in what appears to be collective punishment for an armed clash with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) in the area on July 14, 2017. The whereabouts of seven detained villagers, including a 12-year-old boy, are unknown.

Troops of locally based IB 249 were involved in the July 14 clash with RCSS/SSA near Hai Khai village, Nam Pha Khee tract, after which hundreds of troops from at least seven other battalions were deployed into the area. In fact, as the RCSS/SSA is a signatory of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), the circumstances of the clash should have been discussed and resolved at the table by the Shan State Joint Monitoring Committee, set up for this purpose.

Instead, the Burma Army has responded with a large-scale military operation, involving battalions from various commands. The similar pattern of violations by different battalions, sometimes operating jointly, indicates high-level orders to persecute civilians. Troops from both the Eastern and Triangle Regional Commands carried out the large-scale arrest and torture of 19 villagers — including 2 women – in Nam Khok
temple.

These violations directly contravene the terms of the NCA, which prohibits torture and arbitrary arrest of civilians. By openly committing violations on this scale, the Burma Army is showing its contempt for the NCA and the entire peace process.

SHRF deplores these ongoing systematic violations against civilians. It is urgently needed for the Burmese government to hold their military to account for these violations, and for the international community to bring pressure on the Burmese government to this end.

By denying access to the UN Fact-finding Mission, the Burmese government is effectively shielding its army from scrutiny, and emboldening it to commit violations. The fact that Burma Army troops dared torture civilians on such a large scale even while Ms Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, was in the country (from July 9 to 21), shows their confidence of impunity under the current government. SHRF is gravely concerned for the fate of the seven detained villagers, particularly the 12-year-old boy, and urges their immediate and unconditional release.

Download full update in English HERE.

ေနာက္ဆုံးရ သတင္းအေျခအေန ျမန္မာဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။

ေနာက္ဆုံးရ သတင္းအေျခအေန ရွမ္းဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။

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