Eyewitnesses describe the hellish torture in Myanmar

Last Updated on June 9, 2024 9:41 am

Myanmar’s junta forces killed at least 50 people in a raid on a village in Rakhine state last week. At that time, the witnesses have highlighted the brutality of the soldiers with the residents. Interrogates members of the Arakan Army (AA), the rebel group that is the junta’s main rival. At that time, the residents of Byai Phyu village, located just outside Rakhine’s capital Sittwe, were subjected to inhumane treatment. On Friday, those demonic behaviors of the junta were highlighted by the witnesses in the BBC report.

For almost two and a half days, the junta forces carried out hellish torture. About 100 junta soldiers entered the village last Wednesday. The villagers were blindfolded and beaten. If he has a tattoo, his skin is cut and petrol is poured. Then the fire was given there. Junta soldiers forced to drink urine if they want to drink water. The villagers were brutally tortured whether they could trace the members of the Arakan Army or not. The National Unity Government (NUG), which represents Myanmar’s ousted civilian government, said in a statement that 51 villagers between the ages of 15 and 70 were victims of the violent torture and killings. However, according to the Arakan Army, the death toll is more than 70. However, the ruling military council or junta government has denied these allegations.

A woman from the village told the BBC, “They (the junta) were asking the men if there was an Arakan Army in the village. Whatever the answer is yes, no or don’t know, the soldiers brutally tortured them. I saw with my own eyes, my husband was taken away in a military vehicle. My son was separated from both of us. I don’t know where he is. I don’t know if my son and husband are alive or dead.’In just six months, the Arakan Army has captured most of Rakhine State. They also forced the military to retreat. The Arakan Army has joined ethnic insurgents in other parts of the country in a concerted campaign to topple the junta that seized power in February 2021 after breaking a ceasefire with the army last year. About 1000 families live in the village. During the two-and-a-half-day campaign, the men of the village were kept in the open, under the sun. Neither food nor water was given to them. Many were blindfolded and taken to military vehicles for further questioning.

Many have not yet returned. The woman told the BBC that the people were standing in the hot sun all day asking for water. But the soldiers did not give them water. They were forcing him to urinate in a bottle and drink it. He also said he heard many gunshots. It was not possible to see who was being shot as the head could not be raised. He said, “I didn’t have the courage to look. The soldiers called someone standing next to me. Then I heard the sound of gunshots. He (the person next door) never came back.’ Sittwe, a city of about two hundred thousand inhabitants, has a large port and airport. This city is one of the cities that are still under the control of the junta forces. However, the rebels approached the city.

The junta has also increased brutality. Locals said men who had tattoos in support of the Arakan Army were first singled out. The soldiers cut off the tattooed skin, doused it with petrol and set it on fire. Another witness heard an army officer telling villagers that he had come from fighting in northern Shan State. Junta forces there inflicted heavy losses on them late last year. The junta now wants revenge in Rakhine.

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