Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 20 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 21 2023
The United States and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights said that Myanmar’s human rights situation is getting worse
A report released by the US State Department stated that the human rights situation in Myanmar is worsening. Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, also said that the human rights situation is getting worse at a meeting held in Geneva these days.
The figures also show that more than 2,900 civilians who were not members of the armed forces lost their lives due to protests, political dissidents, and armed resistance attacks that occurred after the military coup.
The 2,900 people who lost their lives referred to now are the people who lost their lives in various ways, such as the arrest and killing of men and women suspected of being PDFs or PDF supporters in villages, unlawful killings during arrests and interrogations, deaths due to torture, deaths due to lack of access to medical treatment in prisons, shootings and killings due to the non-stopping of vehicles at checkpoints, and executions by hanging. These are crimes committed by junta troops, police, security forces, and civilian armed members called militia.
This does not include figures for people who lost their lives in fighting between armed forces.
On the other hand, the PDF forces and urban guerrilla forces have killed those supporting the military council, the organizers of the USDP party, the people who participated in the military council’s administrative mechanism, and some non-CDM employees of the education and civil departments for being junta informants. The military council has announced that the number of people killed under this heading is at least 3,000. The UN human rights Special Rapporteur also referred to the killings under accusations of being informers and pillars of the military council, and said that human rights violations by organizations opposed to the military council, such as the PDF, must be stopped. Similarly, the US State Department report also referred to the killings by the PDF forces.
If you look at the fact that the PDF forces have committed human rights violations in all 2 reports, it is clear that democratic forces and anti-military council forces need to be aware of that. The United States and the United Nations did not say those things in comparison with the military council’s violation, but I understand that they have expressed their intention for the democratic forces to adhere to human rights standards.
It can also be understood that they want to warn the forces that are working against the military dictatorship and the military coup not to use the military council’s methods, such as arresting on suspicion, torturing, or assassinating.
There may be complaints or excuses that the armed revolution is not as simple as writing a poem or daydreaming, but there is a need to distinguish between friends and enemies in practice. When their comrades are killed, they may want to exact revenge without considering the code of conduct for defense forces or urban guerrilla forces after concluding that their deaths were caused by informants for the opposing side. With such feelings, and given the nature of armed groups with weakened political and organizational capabilities, it is important to be aware that the extreme concept and practice of clearing those in contact with or supporting the enemy may emerge.
In opposing military dictatorship, we should not imitate the behavior of military dictators and it is important to respect democratic practices, human rights standards, and international human rights standards.