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Undeniable: War crimes, crimes against humanity and 30 years of villagers’ testimonies in rural Southeast Burma

December 13th, 2022  •  Author:   Karen Human Rights Group  •  3 minute read
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December 13th 2022

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) is pleased to announce the release of its latest report, “Undeniable. War crimes, crimes against humanity and 30 years of villagers’ testimonies in rural Southeast Burma”.

Since the 2021 military coup, the gross human rights violations that the Burma Army committed in the past, and for which the military has enjoyed total impunity, have re-emerged with new vigour in Southeast Burma. Drawing on testimonies from villagers documented over the past 30 years, this report presents the living conditions of villagers who are not only suffering the current waves of violence and abuse but are survivors of the Burma military’s longstanding campaigns to eradicate all forms of opposition. In bringing together past and present abuses, “Undeniable” clearly points to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Karen State by the Burma Army, including the crimes of murder, forcible transfer/displacement, torture, forced labour/enslavement, destruction of property/entire villages, denial of essential needs/starvation, and sexual violence.

This report also shows the strength of local actors and local communities who have been working together to ensure that international stakeholders have the necessary evidence to take action against Burma’s oppressive military regime(s). Likewise, the report draws attention to the repeated failures of the international community to take concrete action in response to credible evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the past several decades.

KHRG’s Field Director, Saw Albert, noted “Through 30 years of KHRG’s experiences documenting different types of brutal human rights violations, the Burma Army was never held accountable for the brutal human rights violations committed by its soldiers. There is no hope for the Burma Army/Government to establish a justice mechanism to end impunity in Burma. The only hope is for the international actors to take active and concrete actions to bring an end to impunity in Burma. If the international community keeps neglecting the suffering of the people of Burma, they will be prolonging and allowing the Burma Army to enjoy complete impunity.”

KHRG hopes that this report will encourage and spark a change in the way in which human rights violations are addressed on a larger international level, and for stakeholders to listen and work with villagers in building a new way forward. It includes a number of recommendations on how national and international stakeholders can support accountability for the perpetrators, bring justice to the countless victims of atrocities, and prevent other abuses from happening in the present and future.

KHRG calls on the international community, NGOs, regional and foreign governing bodies, and funding agencies to:

  • Acknowledge that the military junta is the root cause of the current human rights and humanitarian crisis, and refrain from giving any legitimacy to the junta, including by signing agreements with them and presenting credentials to them.
  • Broaden the scope of accountability to include crimes committed against Karen people, as well as other ethnic and religious minorities not yet covered by current investigations and proceedings.
  • Suspend exports of aviation fuel and take action to ensure that you are not contributing to these supply chains, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Suspend all arms transfers to Burma including all weapons, munitions, surveillance technologies, and other military and security equipment, and the provision of training and other military and security assistance.

Media Contacts:

Saw Nanda Hsue, Advocacy Coordinator – [email protected]

Saw Albert, Field Director – [email protected]

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