The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) is pleased to announce the release of its latest commentary report, titled: “Why would they target us?” Exploring patterns of the Burma Army’s retaliatory abuses against villagers across Southeast Burma.
Since the 2021 military coup, the State Administration Council (SAC) has carried out violent assaults in rural villages throughout Southeast Burma/Myanmar, targeting civilians instead of armed groups. These deliberate attacks, including killings, air strikes, indiscriminate shelling, shootings, arbitrary arrests, and property destruction, have devastating consequences for local communities. Drawing from interviews with local villagers and numerous field reports, this report presents several distinct patterns of retaliatory abuses against civilians by the Burma Army in the region. It sheds light on the SAC’s practice of scapegoating and collectively punishing civilians in ethnic areas, and provides a deeper understanding of the illegal and inhumane actions committed by the SAC in the country.
This report places a particular focus on villagers’ perspectives and their own understanding of the human rights violations they face. It highlights how local civilian efforts and initiatives are essential in resisting, evading, and protecting villagers from SAC abuses, as well as the concrete protection measures and actions villagers demand from the international community.
The report aims to inform national, regional, and international policies, and challenge simplistic understandings of the situation in Karen State as a two-party conflict between the SAC military and ethnic armed organisations, with civilians collaterally impacted. The report highlights the urgent need for decisive action against the SAC’s systematic targeting of civilians, ensuring accountability for perpetrators and supporting villagers’ agency. Such measures are essential if meaningful peace and justice in Southeast Burma is to be accomplished.
KHRG calls on the international community, NGOs, and regional and foreign governments to:
Saw Nanda Hsue, KHRG Advocacy Coordinator, email@example.com
Naw Paw Lah, KHRG Advocacy Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
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