Unprecedented increase in war crimes committed by junta: IIMM says

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Sagaing, 14 September

The United Nations’ Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) reported that the Myanmar military regime is committing war crimes against humanity on an unprecedented scale.

The IIMM chief made the remarks while presenting a report at the 54th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 11 September.

Nicholas Koumjian, head of IIMM, said that the military council has committed more airstrikes in recent months that did not avoid civilians, executions of captured combatants and civilians, and intentional burnings of homes and villages, adding that there has also been a rise in the number of arrests without due process, and they have collected credible evidence that some detainees have been subjected to torture, sexual violence, and other severe mistreatments.

A local said, “The junta army brutally killed seven residents who were taken as human shields this month in Sagaing, where the majority of civilians are killed, by gouging out their eyes, crushing their wrists, and severing their necks with knives on the Yama Bridge”.

According to the Assistance Association for the Political Prisoners (AAPP), more than 4,000 civilians were killed during the two and a half years of the coup, with Sagaing having the highest number of casualties at over 1,800.

According to local organizations, regime forces are committing more war crimes in Karen, Kachin, and Kayah States, as well as Sagaing and Magwe Regions, where the fighting is intense.

According to Adjutant General Khu Yi De of the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF), the regime forces are committing war crimes by using civilians as human shields, conducting airstrikes, and launching heavy weapons.

“The junta army drops bombs weighing 500 tons on villages, schools, churches, and refugee camps. During the fighting, the people trapped in the villages are captured as human shields; their hands are tied, and they are asked to lead the way,” he said.

In a recent incident, 12 people, including teachers and students, were injured or killed by junta airstrikes in Hpapun District on September 7, according to the Karen National Union (KNU).

The KNU has requested international organizations to expand sanctions in more effective and practical ways against the Myanmar regime, which is blatantly committing the illegal war crime of airstrikes that do not avoid civilians.

The IIMM said that the quantity of evidence and information they collected from individuals and organizations was unprecedented and, frankly, unanticipated.

The IIMM’s report stated that they are currently sharing information and evidence with three ongoing proceedings at the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and in Argentina. 

The ISP – Myanmar, a research group, reported on August 18 that the military regime has stepped up its operations without distinguishing between armed forces and civilians, inflicting more damage to populated villages and towns.

News: Than Lwin Times

Photo: KHRG

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