Violations Continue in Ethnic Areas Despite Signs of Change
14 February 2012: Despite government’s attempts to show political progress in the country, various measures of rights violations committed against civilians by Burma Army soldiers persist in ethnic areas.
A new report by the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) exposed a continued act of killings, torture, and destructions of homes, churches and villages in Kachin State and northern Shan State perpetrated by army soldiers.
CSW documented first-hand evidence by conducting interviews with internally displaced people (IDPs) and local victims of grave human rights violations in the conflict-affected parts of Burma’s northern region.
One of the Kachin IDP interviewees said: “I have never experienced this kind of situation before. My grandfather fought in the Second World War, and he said even the Japanese were not as cruel as the Burma Army. I am very disappointed with all this torture and killing. I want the whole world to know about this inhumane behaviour.”
Acknowledging recent positive changes in the country including the release of political prisoners, Benedict Rogers said a very high number of people, who are unarmed civilians living in their paddy fields or homes, had their family members killed by the Burma Army.
“The accounts of torture and other abuses are a cause for very grave concern, and the humanitarian challenges facing the internally displaced people require an urgent and sustained response from the international community,” added East Asia Team Leader of London-based CSW, whose team returned this week from a three-week fact-finding trip to Burma.
CSW also received reports of rape.
CSW called for an end to violations of human rights, particularly attacks on civilians, the use of rape, torture, forced labour, land confiscation, the use of human minesweepers, religious discrimination and persecution, and extrajudicial killings.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang