Thursday, October 27, 2011

FBR: FBR: Photo Essay - Burma Army Uses Civilians as Shields in Karen State

FBR REPORT: Photo Essay- Burma Army Uses Civilians as Shields in Karen State
Karen State, Burma
23 October, 2011

On 5 June 2011, gunfire broke out between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA -- pro-democracy ethnic resistance) Battalion 16 and Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 373 between Jauke Ku Village and Myine Tha Ya Village in Win Ye (Waw Reh) Township, Dooplaya District. In addition to firing on KNLA troops, LIB 373, led by Battalion Commander Aye Min Soe, began firing on and mortaring nearby Myine Tha Ya Village and Aplone Village. When they arrived at Myine Tha Ya Village, the Burma Army forced the villagers out from their covering pits, which are holes the villagers dig in the ground to hide in for protection from crossfire. After forcing them out of the covering pits, the Burma Army forced the villagers to carry loads and serve as human shields and minesweepers on their six-mile patrol to Meh Ta Li Village. Amongst the group of villagers forced to carry loads were a 9 -year-old boy and a pregnant woman.

A 9-year-old boy who was forced to carry loads while walking between soldiers, serving as a human shield.

 

A 14-year-old girl who was forced to carry a baby so that the mother of the baby could carry loads.

A 50-year-old father who was forced to carry a load for six miles.

A 48-year-old mother who was forced to carry a load for six miles.

A 24-year-old mother who was eight months pregnant and forced to carry loads and serve as a human shield with her 5-year-old son in tow.

A 5-year-old boy who was forced to walk with his mother in between SPDC troops while they patrolled for six miles to Meh La Ti Village.

A 53-year-old widow who was forced to carry loads without a shirt on for six miles.

A 24-year-old mother who was forced to carry loads as another porter carried her 8-month-old baby alongside.

 

 

 

 

 

The Free Burma Rangers’ (FBR) mission is to provide hope, help and love to internally displaced people inside Burma, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Using a network of indigenous field teams, FBR reports on human rights abuses, casualties and the humanitarian needs of people who are under the oppression of the Burma Army. FBR provides medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.

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