Junta arbitrarily transfers political prisoners between detention centers, relatives say

Regime forces have terrorized residents of several villages along the Myittha River in Sagaing and Magway regions over the past week, according to local sources.

About 100 junta soldiers and members of the pro-military Pyu Saw Htee militia from Kyauk Pyoke village in Kale township in Sagaing started attacking other villages in the area last Thursday, the sources said.

The raids spread to neighboring Gangaw township in Magway region and continued until Tuesday, they added.

At least one person – a 35-year-old man named Mone Phe from Yae Shin Ma, a village on the west bank of the river in Gangaw township – was tortured to death after being captured on Monday, a village resident said. in Myanmar. Now.

“It looked like they had strangled him with a towel before shooting him,” said the villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He added that the victim was probably killed because he was unable to tell the soldiers where the bases of the anti-regime People’s Defense Forces (PDF) groups active in the area were.

In Myintha, a village north of Yae Shin Ma, junta troops destroyed houses and motorcycles, while in Hnankhar, another village in the same area, they killed and ate the cattle of farmers who had fled.

According to a villager from Hnankhar, regime forces also destroyed rice that had been stockpiled to feed internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in nearby forests.

“It was a year’s worth of rice for the IDPs, but the military thought it was for the PDFs, so they destroyed it,” the Hankhar local said.

It was widely believed that the latest raids in the area were sparked by a PDF attack on a police station in the village of Khin Yan last Wednesday.

Khin Yan, along with the villages of Kyauk Phyoke, Kokka, Hanthawaddy and Lel Gyi, are considered Pyu Saw Htee strongholds.

The junta column arrived in Khin Yan on Wednesday after ending its rampage with a final raid on Chaung Gwa village the day before, residents said.

Locals involved in relief efforts for the displaced say the situation has become increasingly dire as thousands of people from at least a dozen villages have been forced to shelter in forested areas without food. or adequate medical supplies.

One who spoke to Myanmar Now on Wednesday said there was also an urgent need for health workers in the area, as many internally displaced people are suffering from deteriorating health in because of their difficult living conditions.

“It was particularly bad yesterday, as the military even went into the forests, shooting everyone in sight,” he said, adding that recent heavy rains have also aggravated the plight of the internally displaced.

Myanmar’s junta has denied targeting civilians in its clearance operations against PDF groups and others resisting the return of military rule after a coup in February last year.

However, well-documented atrocities have been committed almost daily in many parts of the country, with Sagaing and Magway, areas previously not in conflict, receiving some of the harshest treatment.

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