The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has said that the alarming escalation of grave human rights abuses in Myanmar is appalling. “In the last week alone, security forces have killed and burned to death 11 people, among them five minors, and rammed vehicles into protesters exercising their fundamental right to peaceful assembly,” said spokesperson Rupert Colville at a news briefing in Geneva. Serious violations are reported daily of the rights to life, liberty and security of person, the prohibition against torture, the right to a fair trial, and freedom of expression, he added.
Recently, a unit of the Myanmar army was reportedly ambushed by militia forces with a remote-controlled explosive device in Salingyi Township of the Sagaing Region. Security personnel responded by raiding the village of Done Taw and arresting six men and five minors, the youngest of whom was only 14 years old, according to local reports. “The villagers indicated that human corpses were contorted into shapes that appeared as though they were trying to shelter one another and escape from burning huts,” Colville said.
In a separate incident, security forces in Kyimyindaing Township, Yangon, rammed a vehicle into unarmed protesters and then fired on them with live ammunition, leaving several casualties. The UN Human Rights Office has also received multiple reports of villages being burned, including protected structures, such as places of religious worship and residential buildings. “In Thantlang town in Chin State, credible sources reported that the military torched 19 civilian and religious buildings and 450 homes in 10 different incidents,” he said.
And a few weeks ago in Kayah State, villagers were reportedly burned alive when the place they were sheltering in was allegedly set ablaze by security forces.
Since the coup on 1 February 2021, more than 1,300 individuals have lost their lives and another 10,600 have been detained in Myanmar.