Life Disrupted: Burma Army Targets Civilian Family in Danai
11 September 2017
Kachin State, Burma
This report documents an event in July of 2017 that is one of the worst fears of many people that live in Burma/Myanmar today and yet is an all-too-common story. A family is attacked in their village and at their home by the government military that should be responsible for their safety and security.
The ongoing attacks in Kachin and Shan states and the higher-profile oppression against the Rohingya in Rakhine State demonstrate this multi-front war is not being waged against an arbitrary group but against many different groups throughout Burma. This war has gone on for the last 70 years. It is a deliberate campaign of terror against the different ethnic groups of Burma in order to further the military’s control and influence in these ethnic groups’ land, resources, and lives. Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine comprise three Burmese states currently embroiled in major conflict, with the Rakhine State Rohingya crisis being considered one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world today. The actions of the Burmese military are unacceptable by all standards of international law and human rights. The Burma military’s actions throughout Burma warrant condemnation and a withdrawal of support.
July 9th, 2017, was a tragic day for Mr. San Nai Zing and his family in Mung Ding Village, Danai Township, Kachin State, Burma. At 0200, Mr. San Nai Zing and his wife, Ri Dang Hko, were awakened by a mortar round exploding into their home. As he fully awoke after the shock of the explosion, Mr. San found that he had taken shrapnel to his left knee and his wife had taken shrapnel to her left heel. For the next hour their family, including the parents and three children, listened to small arms fire around their village.
At 0500 Mr. San began to make the morning fire. The family had been unable to seek out medical care for their shrapnel wounds due to the fighting. As dawn came and the smoke from Mr. San Nai Zing’s fire rose high in view of the rest of Mung Ding Village the Burma Army came. Once the soldiers had approached closer to Mr. San’s home they called out loudly for him and his family to come out. Mr. San and his wife attempted to hide their children in a room inside the home as hurriedly as possible before facing the soldiers.
As Mr. San exited his home a Burma Army soldier shot Mr. San in his left side. Mr. San cried out in pain and the soldier ordered him to stop screaming, threatening to kill him if he did not stop. Mr. San, unable to bear the pain of the gunshot, could not stop making noise. Inside the home, the children cried out in fear, having heard the gunshot and their father’s screams. A Burma Army soldier then began shooting into the home while shouting, “You cried loudly!” San Nai Di, a 2-year-old boy, was shot in the head and died instantly from the gunshot.
At the time of this attack no one from the village was able to come and help. More than 30 villagers from 11 different households had their hands tied and were blindfolded in the village church compound. Their mobile phones were switched off. They were kept prisoners in the church compound the entire day and not given any food. The two church priests were also tied and kept prisoner. One woman who was held is a mother of two children, including a nursing infant. She was not allowed to attend to her children all day.
At 1700 the Burma Army soldiers left the village and the village leaders and administrators came to look after their people and to take them to the hospital. When the leaders arrived at the home of Mr. San they found him lying in the rain in front of his home where the Burma Army had left him. His wife, injured, and their remaining two children were inside. The family was rushed to Danai hospital, but the hospital authority asked that the family be taken to the military hospital. The family was dropped off at the military hospital by the village leaders, and the military staff told the leaders they had to leave immediately. The baby was buried the next day by the villagers.
Listed below are other reports that happened around the same time in Danai Township:
– On July 9th a farmer named Mr. Mangjang Dang Di, age 60, from Ting Kawk Village was wounded on his left knee when the Burma Army began shooting indiscriminately around them.
– Around the same time and date, another farmer named Mr. Sandawng Hpung Shin, age 40, from Ting Kawk Village was shot in his left knee and left ear while making a fire in his kitchen.
– A villager from Mung Ding Village, Mr. Wa Hkoi Hkin 35, was stopped and questioned by the Burma Army about his nationality. ‘We are Rawang’, replied the man. “Even Rawang is the Kachin, we beat you for not informing us even after seeing the KIA soldiers,” said the Burma Army soldiers. “That’s why we tied up their hands and blindfolded and kept in the church campus the whole day without providing food,” added the Burma Army soldiers. “We are civilians, please do not torture us,” said Mr. Wa Hkoi Hkin, but the Burma Army soldiers did not care. Mr. Wa Hkoi Hkin was being treated at the military hospital in Danai following this encounter.