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Deadly reprisals: regime steps up attacks on civilians in retaliation for conflict losses in northern Burma

June 16th, 2021  •  Author:   Kachin Women’s Association Thailand  •  2 minute read
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Date: 16 June, 2021

Press release by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)

A new briefing paper released today by KWAT provides an update of human rights violations by the regime’s security forces in urban and rural areas of Kachin State and Muse District of northern Shan State during April and May, 2021.

Security forces have continued to use live ammunition against unarmed protesters, killing two men, in Bhamo and Hpakant. They have also continued hunting out activists in urban areas, arresting sixty-one people during the two months, including NLD members, doctors, journalists, and youth leaders.

In rural areas, in response to losses inflicted by the KIA, the regime’s forces have stepped up brutal reprisals against civilians, including torture, arbitrary shooting, and shelling of residential areas.

Youth in Myitkyina, Mohnyin and Kamaing have been arbitrarily arrested and tortured for suspected links to the KIA. This included three boys returning from playing football, who were detained in a military base for 12 days, beaten in the head with guns and burned with cigarettes.

Escalated shelling along the Dawhpumyang-Momauk highway in southeast Kachin State has killed nine villagers and injured fifteen, including three children. This was in direct retaliation for KIA gains in the area, including the recapture of the Alaw Bum mountaintop base on March 25, and the shooting down of a regime helicopter on May 3.

The attacks on civilians have caused large-scale displacement, with over 6,000 new IDPs fleeing to Momauk and Bhamo towns. Their former homes are now occupied by Burma Army troops from the notorious elite infantry divisions 77, 88 and 99, who have been looting villagers’ property, livestock and food.

KWAT is calling for economic and diplomatic sanctions on the illegitimate coup regime, and for a global arms embargo and no-fly zone over Burma. Neighbouring countries, including China, are urged to stop the regime from using their airspace to launch attacks.

KWAT urges foreign governments to endorse the National Unity Government as the legitimate government of Burma, and requests international donors to provide humanitarian aid cross-border to the IDPs in ethnic areas.

For more information:

Moon Nay Li (+66 85233791)

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