Within Myanmar (Burma), the Burma Army is continuing to carry out mass atrocities against the people of Burma. In one case on March 27, 2021, a villager in Karen State lost her husband when the Burma Army carried out an airstrike and bombed their home. She gave a chilling account of the attack, “My husband was covered in blood and staggered down the stairs holding our son. He handed our son to me and then fell down and died.” This is just one of the many stories we highlighted in our most recent report to the U.N. Human Rights Council ( HRC).
In this written submission to the U.N., we highlight how “Christians and other religious minorities are targeted for violence by the Burma Army for failing to subscribe to Buddhism.”
As we have previously told you, the Burma Army initiated a military coup in February 2021, further exacerbating the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This coup has resulted in the Burma Army restricting citizens’ access to the outside and to communications, as well as the Burma Army carrying out extreme acts of violence and killing those who oppose the coup.
We have now, once again, shed light on the atrocities being carried out by the Burma Army against the people of Burma. As stated in our report:
Since the coup began in February 2021, as of 21 May 2021, the Burma Army has murdered at least 812 people and currently has 4,258 citizens under detention with 1782 warrants outstanding. The violence continues as the Burma Army raids citizens’ homes, robs citizens of their belongings, and instills fear that makes the people of Myanmar afraid to leave their homes. Simultaneously, the Burma Army’s violent attacks on the people of Myanmar have led to mass displacement within the country. For example, the Burma Army threw grenades at coup protesters killing 82 people in the city of Bago, along with preventing medical aid to those who sustained injuries due to the grenades. The deprivation of human rights, religious liberties, and violent attacks have led to 336,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar. The Burma Army severely controls IDPs through closing borders and regulating where IDPs are allowed to travel.
In our written submission to the U.N. HRC, we also shared tragic stories detailing just how dire the situation is for people living in Burma. Every day, citizens face the threat of military action being carried out by the Burma Army against its own people.
Similarly, on 7 April 2021, the military deployed mortars into a village wounding four civilians and destroying homes. On 8 April 2021, the military mortared Mae Pweh Hta Village, killing a 60-year-old man. Another village reported that “they are unable to burn and prepare their rice crops because the Burma Army will mortar any time they go into the fields. They are afraid that they will have no rice harvest next fall”. On 12 April 2021, the Burma Army killed two men from different villages in the Karen state. One of the men killed, Saw Pah Mae Pa, was carrying roughly $800 in funds to send to his father-in-law. In addition to taking his life, Burma Army soldiers stole his money and his motorcycle.
It is extremely important that the U.N. and the international community take immediate action to protect the lives of those living in Burma. We urged the U.N. to take immediate action to protect the citizens from these atrocities:
Due to the recent coup, the Burma Army has assumed the role of a dictator, furthering the violence the people of Myanmar face. The current political state of Myanmar renders the government incapable of enacting or upholding laws that guarantee basic human rights, including the right to life and freedom of religion. The continuing conflict within Myanmar has not only displaced thousands of people within the country itself, but has led to the murder of thousands of citizens at the hands of the Burma Army. We respectfully request the United Nations to aid and protect the people of Myanmar from the continued atrocities that they are facing at the hands of the dictatorial military.
It is critical that we continue to raise this issue at the U.N. because it brings international attention to this grave injustice. We know for a fact that Burma does not want this information brought to light because during a previous session at the U.N. HRC, Burma objected to an image being shown during an oral intervention that was critical of Burma’s human rights abuses.
We will not stand silent. We will continue to shed light on the human rights abuses occurring in Burma and around the world. Stand with us.
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