Hpapun Incident Report: Violent abuse in Bu Tho Township, April 2014

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Hpapun Incident Report: Violent abuse in Bu Tho Township, April 2014

Published date:
Thursday, November 20, 2014

This Incident Report describes events in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District in April 2014, including violent abuse and injury due to shooting. On April 2nd 2014, Border Guard Force (BGF) Officer Tha Beh summoned the village head of A--- village to meet him after the village head had organized the delivery of a letter on behalf of a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) officer to the officer’s former private, who is now a BGF private, under Officer Tha Beh’s command. Upon their meeting, Officer Tha Beh punched and hit the village head of A---, as well as the messenger who sent the letter. When the village head of P---, who had also been summoned by Officer Tha Beh, arrived, he was punched and hit as well. The village head of P---brandished a machete, after which one of Officer Tha Beh’s privates, who had accompanied him, shot the village head of P---, hitting him in the hand and accidently shooting Officer Tha Beh in the leg.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, community members are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorized by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s Website.

[3] KHRG has received numerous reports involving human rights abuses committed by BGF Officer Tha Beh, including violent abuse, forced labour, explicit threats and arbitrary arrest and detention. See “Violent abuse and forced labour in Hpapun District, November 2013 – January 2014,” KHRG, September 2014; “Hpapun Incident Report: Forced labour and violent abuse in Bu Tho Township, January 2014,” KHRG, August 2014; “Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, November 2013 to February 2014,” KHRG, August 2014; and “Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August to November 2013,” KHRG, December 2013.

[4] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard ForceDemocratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[5] Commander Maung Chit, also referred to as Maw Hsee, is the commander for Tatmadaw Border Guard Force (BGF) battalion #1014 in Hpapun District. Maung Chit is not to be confused with Maung Chit Thu (typically referred to as Chit Thu), who is a senior level BGF commander overseeing battalions #1017, #1018, #1019 and #1020 in Ko Ko, Hpa-an District.

[6] The researcher refers to the Karen National Union (KNU) here; Officer Hpah Mwee is in fact a member of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU.