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Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

Since the military takeover last year, hundreds of children have been mercilessly attacked and killed by Myanmar’s Buddhist nationalist junta, according to numerous reports, including the U.N., which declared the murders to be crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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“The junta’s unrelenting attacks on children illustrate the generals’ depravity and willingness to inflict great pain on innocent victims in its drive to subjugate the people of Myanmar,” said Tom Andrews, the U.N. special rapporteur on the state of human rights in Myanmar, in a report.

As he gathered information for the report, the U.N. rapporteur said, “I received information about children who were beat, stabbed, burned with cigarettes, and subjected to mock executions, and who had their fingernails and teeth pulled during lengthy interrogation sessions.” The report’s focus was on the killing of children.

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Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

According to the U.N. report, the military has murdered at least 142 children in Myanmar during the previous 16 months. “The military’s attacks have resulted in the displacement of over 250,000 children, and over 1,400 of them have been jailed without cause. At least 61 kids, some of them are only 3 years old, are apparently being held captive. Since the coup, 142 children have been tortured, according to the U.N.

The junta’s attacks on children are crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to Andrews. The architect of the bloodshed in Myanmar, Min Aung Hlaing, and other perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes against children.

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The special rapporteur demanded a change in the way the international community dealt with the coup and the atrocities committed by the junta, claiming the current strategy had failed. “States must act immediately and in concert to solve an increasing political, economic, and humanitarian catastrophe that is endangering Myanmar’s children from becoming a lost generation,” the UN said.

He added: “For the sake of Myanmar’s children, member states, regional organizations, the Security Council, and other U.N. entities must respond to the crisis in Myanmar with the same urgency they have responded to the crisis in Ukraine.”

Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

According to the report, the junta has “intentionally” deprived children of their fundamental human rights to health, education and development, with an estimated 7.8 million children out of school.

“Following the collapse of the public health system since the coup, the World Health Organization projects that 33,000 children will die preventable deaths in 2022 because they have not received routine immunizations,” it added.

Days after the release of the U.N. report, International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, also drew attention to a Catholic church that was burned in Kayah state by the country’s army, called Tatmadaw.

St. Matthews Church was set ablaze by junta soldiers last Wednesday, ICC said.

“This is one of many assaults against Christian believers since the military takeover of the democratically elected government,” ICC said, explaining in another statement on the suffering of children and religious minorities that “the destruction of worship places indicates the junta’s desire to spread the Buddhist religion and stop Christians who support local defense forces against the coup.”

Formerly known as Burma, the Southeast Asian country is home to the world’s longest Civil War, which began in 1948.

The conflict between the country’s military, locally known as Tatmadaw, and ethnic minority militias escalated after the military coup on Feb. 1, 2021, as the ethnic militias have been supporting pro-democracy protesters. The conflict zones are along Myanmar’s borders with India, Thailand and China.

Myanmar Military Torturing, Killing Children: ‘Fingernails, Teeth Pulled Out During Interrogations’

Christians make up just over 7% of the majority-Buddhist nation. But Christians are a majority in Chin State, which borders India, and Kachin State, which borders China, and make up a substantial part of the population of Kayah State, which borders Thailand.

Myanmar is ranked No. 12 on Open Doors USA’s 2022 World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians face the most severe persecution. The persecution level in Myanmar is “very high” due to Buddhist nationalism. Burma is recognized by the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” for egregious violations of religious liberty.

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