Myanmar Junta Kills Nearly 1,000 Civilians in Under 200 Days

By The Irrawaddy 17 August 2021

Nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar regime forces in fewer than 200 days as the merciless junta continues its brutal crackdown to quell opposition to the Feb. 1 coup.

In the last month alone, at least 92 civilians were slaughtered by the regime including teenagers, student activists, protesters, National League for Democracy (NLD) members and their family members, bystanders, pedestrians and villagers, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an activist group that monitors arrests and fatalities at the hands of the junta’s forces.

The past month’s figures include the junta’s massacres of 40 people in the Myanmar resistance stronghold of Kani Township in Sagaing Region during raids into villages in the township. The township has seen several massacres as the junta has scaled up military operations against the resistance.

Villagers who fled the operations said when they came back to the villages, they found nearly 40 bodies including that of a 14-year-old boy and 11 other men arrested by junta soldiers on July 26 and 27.

The number of detainees tortured to death by the junta has also continued to rise with at least 10 others killed in detention over the past one and a half months.

Mg Aung Aung Lwin, 22, from Shwedaung in Pyay District, Bago Region, who was detained on the night of June 28, was killed while being detained. He was arrested after an alleged military collaborator, who recently moved near his home, told authorities that he had cursed coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Regime forces told the family that Mg Aung Aung Lwin died of internal bleeding but his body was cremated without the family being allowed to see it.

In the same district, Ko Soe Min, 35, a father of two, was detained at his home in Pyay Township on June 29 after a collaborator alleged that he destroyed a public building. Only the body with torture marks and bruises, and with the chest having been stitched back together, was returned to the family.

The AAPP stated in its latest report that as of Monday, 998 people had been killed by the junta’s forces including some killed while being detained.

“This is the number verified by AAPP; the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher,” the AAPP said as it documented 27 civilians who were killed in previous days in Monday’s report.

The death toll for this month includes 60-year-old Pi Ngeih Tling, who was shot dead in the chest at home in an unprovoked shooting by junta soldiers in Falam, Chin State, and U Maung Htay, 55, who died in Myingyan Prison in Mandalay Region after being arrested for hosting youth protesters.

Others include Hlaing Wai Oo, 26, who was beaten to death in front of his mother in Minkin, Sagaing Region; Han Zaw Tun, who suffered from mental illness and was beaten to death when he passed by the administrator’s office in Hlaing Tharyar Township, and Wai Wai Myint (aka Apple) who jumped from the roof of a building rather than surrender to raiding soldiers in Yangon.

NLD Central Executive Committee member and Daw Aung Suu Kyi’s long-time personal lawyer U Nyan Win, 45-year-old surgical lecturer Dr. Maung Maung Nyein Tun, who was also a lecturer at the Department of Surgery at Mandalay University of Medicine, and NLD elected lawmaker U Nyunt Shwe, who was also a chair of the NLD’s Bago Township office, also died after being infected with COVID-19 in prison this month.

Many believe that instead of containing the coronavirus inside prisons, the regime is using it as a weapon against opponents.

More than 7,300 people including elected leaders, NLD party members, election commissioners, doctors, protesters, journalists, writers, artists and civilians have been detained.

In spite of the killings and arrests, people across Myanmar continue to take to the streets to protest against military rule and demand a return to a democratically elected civilian government.

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