ND-Burma 2017 report on the human rights situation finds military continues to block justice for abuses
30 March 2018
For Immediate Press Release
ND-Burma’s 2017 report on the human rights situation has found that ongoing conflict between the military and ethnic armed organisations has resulted in continued abuses against non-combatants, predominantly by state security forces. The majority of victims are ethnic nationality civilians who face shelling, arbitrary arrest, torture, extrajudicial killing, and death by landmines. Though there have been a few cases where soldiers have been sentenced to jail following human rights abuses, none of the cases in our report have seen justice and show how the military frequently pressures victims to stay silent. Pressure can come in the form of informal pay-offs to victims or their families, efforts to confuse or deceive those trying to seek justice through complicated military administrative procedures, or direct threats. Our report includes 10 case studies that illustrate the most common human rights violations experienced by civilians, as well as military coercion to drop justice-seeking efforts.
- ND-Burma documented 50 cases of human rights violations in 2017. The most common human rights violation recorded was torture (24 cases), followed by extrajudicial killing (11 cases), and arbitrary arrest (7 cases).
- The majority of human rights violations continue to take place in Shan State, with 42 cases (84%) being recorded in the region.
- The majority of human rights violations were committed by state security forces, with 36 cases (72%) being ascribed to the military, police, and militias. 6 were ascribed to EAOs (12%), 5 to unknown perpetrators (10%), and 3 to civilians (6%).
- Impunity continues to be the norm, with none of the victims in the cases documented seeing justice for what they have suffered. Perpetrators continue to block legal investigations and informal truth-seeking through threats and intimidation.
- The drop in human rights violations recorded since our 2016 report on the human rights situation should not be read as an actual reduction in the number of abuses, but as a result of increasing access restrictions and security concerns.
ND-Burma advocacy team member Chit Chit Win said:
“Our 2017 report on the human rights situation shows that in spite of the peace process, armed conflict in ethnic nationality areas continues to be accompanied by grave human rights abuses against civilians. Significant access restrictions mean that the cases documented in this report are only a tiny fraction of the abuses being carried out, both by the military and ethnic armed organisations. Because impunity continues to be the norm for abuses, they persist. ND-Burma believes the only way Burma’s long legacy of human rights violations will finally be brought to an end and lasting peace achieved is through acknowledgement, accountability, and reparations. This is why we will continue to document human rights abuses and to fight for justice for victims.”
For Burmese media:
Chit Chit Win
Advocacy team member
Mobile: +95 (0) 945 2204 210
For English media:
Mobile: +95 (0) 945 9361 186
Click on reports below to read in English and Burmese: