Myanmar Situation Update (11 – 17 July 2022)

Ousted State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi denied electoral fraud charges against her at a closed trial inside the junta prison in Naypyitaw. The charges were filed under Article 130(a) of the Penal Code, accusing her of influencing the Union Election Commission (UEC) ahead of the November 2020 general election. Ousted president Win Myint and the former union government office minister Min Thu are co-defendants in the trial. Win Myint also denied the charges during a hearing last week while Min Thu is due to testify in the coming week.

In a “private visit” to Russia, Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing appealed to the Ministry of Defense of Russia to strengthen their ties during his second visit to Moscow since the military coup, on 12 July 2022. Reuters reported that the day after his arrival in Russia, Min Aung Hlaing met with the “top officials” from the ministry of defense to “discuss ways to strengthen bilateral military cooperation”.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hand down its decision on 22 July 2022 about the objection of the Myanmar government to the genocide case that Gambia filed against them. In a statement, ICJ said Judge Joan E. Donoghue, the president of the court, will read out ICJ's decision at the Peace Palace in The Hague at 3 p.m.

The junta forces intensified their attacks on the local villages in Sagaing and Magway regions as growing local resistance posed a greater threat to the junta in those regions. Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that around 4,000 residents of Sagaing region were forced to flee their homes in fear of junta’s airstrikes on 15 villages. The airstrikes, which were part of a three-day scorched-earth campaign, targeted locals of townships that fiercely resisted the junta’s authority. The military reportedly interrogated around 100 residents who remained in the villages. 

Local residents said that the junta troops torched more than 150 oil wells in Magway region to cut off their source of income and that of groups against the junta. The junta believed that the local residents conspired with the opposition and had been supplying them income from the oil they sell.

Two people were killed while nine were injured at an explosion in Yangon on 12 July 2022. The cause of the explosion remained unclear with the authorities silent on the incident. Meanwhile, in separate incidents, news reports indicate that six junta officials were assassinated in Yangon as the civil resistance groups increase attacks against junta officials and offices in Yangon in recent months.

A US-based NGO urged Thailand to open its border for the delivery of humanitarian aid into Myanmar and to stop pushing back the people seeking refuge in the country. Refugees International, in a report, said that thousands of Burmese fled from Myanmar to Thailand because of the conflict since the coup last year. They said “the military junta has committed widespread atrocities and blocked international humanitarian groups from delivering aid to areas that desperately need it”.

As of 15 July 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that the junta has killed 2,088 people since the coup. There are 11,629 people currently under detention. There are 119 people who have been sentenced to death.

Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) 

11 July 2022, 11:30 a.m. (Bangkok time)

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