FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 APRIL 2021
Junta Escalates Gross Rights Violations in Campaign to Exert Control in Western Burma/Myanmar
New documentation of human rights violations published today by CHRO finds that since the February 1 coup, as many as 21 Chin civilians have lost their lives, including a mother and her teenaged daughter who were gang-raped and killed by Burmese soldiers in Kalay Township, Sagaing Region while at least 179 have been arbitrarily arrested by the junta security forces to date. As many as 67 people are still being detained and are facing various criminal charges, including under Section 505 (a) of the Penal Code.
A total of 30 activists and campaigners, including nationally famous celebrities, are facing outstanding criminal warrants for their arrests with shoot-on-sight orders issued against many of them. The whereabouts of seven police personnel who were arrested and detained on charges of desertion remain unknown. They are feared to have been severely tortured while in military custody.
Torture practices used in military detention and documented by CHRO include the routine use of caning, resulting in severe wounds. Many detainees who are now awaiting trials or have now been released reported that they were caned as many as 40 times with wooden sticks during their initial period of detention at Tactical Operations Command military base on Mount Rung, in Hakha.
“We are gravely concerned by the junta’s increasing use of terror tactics to intimidate the Chin public. This has included taking hostages in an attempt to coerce family members wanted by security forces for their peaceful protest activities to come out of hiding,” says Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of CHRO.
On 7 April, the Burmese military arrested and detained Rev. Bual Sang and his son Pastor Cung Lian Thawng in attempts to force Salai Robinson, the former’s son-in-law, to turn himself in to the police in connection with his alleged involvement in helping to ship goods containing self-protection gears meant for protesters to use during protest marches.
In a separate incident in Tedim on 11 April, Rev. Khup Khen Pau and his wife were detained by junta’s security forces in a similar attempt to coerce their son Do Suan Pau, a civil servant who participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement, to come out of hiding. In both instances, the police and military soldiers raided the homes of the Christian religious clergymen.
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PDF Download Available here: Press Release_14 April 2021