HURFOM: 16 February 2021: The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) condemns the police brutality against peaceful protesters in Mawlamyine, Mon State, on 12 February 2021. Security forces were relentless in their attacks and responsible for the firing of rubber bullets into crowds at close range. This resulted in five victims sustaining serious injuries. Following nationwide resistance, civilians of all ages, genders and backgrounds took to the streets to call for the release of detained activists, civilians and politicians including State Counselor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and President, U Win Myint, and for the military who illegitimately claimed power in a coup d’état on 1 February 2021 to step down and peacefully transfer power to the democratically elected National League for Democracy party. We strongly condemn the actions of the armed security forces and call for the civic and political rights of protesters to peacefully demonstrate.
According to reporting from Frontier Myanmar, police fired six bullets into the air to disperse crowds of over 1000 who gathered to protest in Mawlamyine. In a video that went viral, a protester is seen being tackled to the ground by the police. This violence follows the arrest of four Mon university students: Ko Nyo Min, Ko Hein Zaw Aung, Ko Pyae Done Phyo and Ko Htun Nyein Oo for their involvement in the protests. Police also raided the office of the Students’ Union. HURFOM calls for their safe and unconditional release, along with the 391 others currently detained by the military, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The violations against Mon people are not unlike the violence seen in the anti-coup protests across the country. The increased presence of military tanks and soldiers and further suppression of rights is meant to send a stark signal to the demonstrators—accept the new government, or face the consequences including arrest and detainment. As the regime continues to try and diminish the will of their own people through fear mongering tactics, we call for peace and stability as organizers in Mon State and throughout Burma, plan evening vigilante groups to deter violence in the evening. We, the people of Burma, will continue to be resilient in our calls for a dismantling of the military government that we did not elect.
The international community has an opportunity to do more than just condemn the actions of the military, but to act in solidarity by listening and responding to our calls of targeted sanctions against the military and their families as well as leveraging their diplomatic relationships to ensure the rule of law in Burma is respected. In HURFOM’s condemnation of the violence, we also urge the international community to stand with us in our calls and support our efforts to preserve the democratic transition.
Nai Aue Mon, Human Rights Foundation of Monland Program Director
Ph No: +1 859 405 0618
HURFOM was founded by exiled pro-democracy students from the 1988 uprisings, recent activists and Mon community leaders and youth. Its primary objective is th
e restoration of democracy, human rights and genuine peace in Burma. HURFOM is a non-profit organization, and all its members are volunteers with a shared vision for peace in the country.