Myanmar Situation Update (18 – 24 July 2022)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected the preliminary objections of the Myanmar military junta to the case on Myanmar’s alleged genocide against the ethnic Rohingya population in Rakhine State in October 2016 and August 2017. This case filed by Gambia is one of the attempts to use the international justice system to bring accountability to the estimated 740,000 Rohingyas community who fled Myanmar after a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine state in 2017.

The military junta executed democracy activists Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw and two others (Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw) on 23 July 2022. They were sentenced to death in January 2022 by a military tribunal for charges under the counter-terrorism law for being alleged masterminds and their involvement in anti-regime armed struggle and activities. Numerous national and international bodies, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), condemned the junta’s move. In a statement, the ASEAN chairman said “ASEAN denounces and is strongly disappointed by the execution of four opposition activists”.

ASEAN special envoy for Myanmar and Cambodia's deputy prime minister and foreign minister Prak Sokhonn is expected to have his third visit to Myanmar in mid-September. Speaking to Channel News Asia, he said that if he meets ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, he wants to use her influence to end the violence in the country. In his two previous visits the military junta denied his requests to meet Aung San Suu Kyi. 

About 15 teachers identified as members of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) were arrested by the military between 13 and 18 July 2022. They were reportedly teaching online modules for a school linked to the National Unity Government (NUG) set up to provide online education to around 20,000 students who are boycotting classes or have been unable to attend class due to the current situation in Myanmar.

Almost 50 members of the civilian government have been killed since the military coup, including three members of parliament. About 900 NLD lawmakers were also arrested by the junta. According to the spokesperson for the NLD’s Human Rights Record Group, 11 out of the 48, died while in detention, eight died in prison, and 29 were killed “for no reason”.

During the latest fights with Rakhine rebels in the western of the country, the military reported severe casualties with at least 14 junta soldiers, including a police captain, taken as prisoners after they surrendered during the fighting. The fighting between the junta and AA has intensified recently after a long silence by the AA in responding to the military coup in February 2021.

The media reported that Myanmar's third largest telecom operator and the last foreign telecom operator, Ooredoo, will leave the country, as the Qatari firm is planning to sell its Myanmar unit. Ooredoo is in talks on the sale after informing Myanmar’s Posts and Telecommunications Department (PTD) about its intention to sell the unit.

As of 22 July 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that the junta has killed 2,114 people since the coup. There are 11,759 people currently under detention. There are 117 people who have been sentenced to death.

Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) 

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

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