Human Rights Group Accuse Burma Army of Targeting Civilians

A Shan Human Rights Foundation spokesperson in an interview with Karen News said that thousands of civilians displaced by the Burma Army have fled to the China border.

“The situation is very tense. People are scared. They are scared of the Burma Army being in their villages. Only the very old have stayed behind.”

Shan Human Rights Foundation spokesperson said people who had returned to their villages to check on their possessions or livestock risk torture or death. The Shan Human Rights Foundation documented a number of cases to back up their claims of impunity by the Burma Army against civilians.

SHRF cite the case of Nai Nai, 76, (not her real name) who lived in Laogai.

SHRF said that on February 10, after fighting broke out, Nai Nai fled with her family to the China border.

“On February 13, she [Nai Nai] went back to release her six pigs, as no one was feeding them. She went back alone, as other family members did not think it was necessary to accompany her. They assumed that no one would harm an old woman.”

SHRF in their statement said that the elderly woman was a great risk from the Burma Army soldiers.

“When she was at her house, a convoy of Burma Army cars came and stopped nearby. Some soldiers got out and broke down the door of a neighbor, who had a small drink and snack shop, and helped themselves to some drinks. They saw the old lady, but did not say anything to her. They then went to another house, and told the inhabitant to tell the old lady she should leave her house and go to China.”

Nai Nai arranged a lift for her and two other women to take them to the border.

“At 4 pm, they were driving on the road between the town and the Donchan casino area, when they were suddenly sprayed with machine gun fire, which hit one side of the car. Some bullets pierced the side of the car, and the old woman, who was sitting in the front, was hit in the left foot. Another woman, aged 47, in the back seat was shot in the leg. The bullet passed through her left calf and hit her right calf. The car stopped, as its tyres were punctured. Then about 4 or 5 Burmese soldiers appeared carrying machine guns from a building south of the road.”

SHRF said the Burma Army soldiers questioned the woman and “told the women to go and find medical treatment. They did not help them. The women had to phone for another car to come and pick them up. They were then taken to the Donchan area, where a youth group helped them, but there were no medical staff, and the old lady’s foot was bleeding all night.”

The women said in the SHRF statement that they were not the only ones targeted by the Burma Army.

“On the way, they saw four bodies of young men (aged 17-18 years old) in civilian clothes lying by the road in the Jin Xiang Cheng area.”

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