Shwepyi Aye Villagers Used As Human Shields Die In Custody

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Two villagers abducted by junta forces and forced to walk in front of the soldiers as human shields in southern Shan State have reportedly died in custody, according to unnamed sources.

Maung Yo, 67, and Soe Tint, 49, from Shwepyi Aye in Pekon Township were among 19 villagers abducted by Burma Army (BA) on 27 October. The other prisoners are still in a police station in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, on charges of treason.

”These people are not guilty of doing anything wrong. They are just normal villagers,” a Pekon man told the Kantarawaddy Times. When the soldiers came to their village, they did not run away, he explained. They stayed behind when everyone else had already fled to take care of the elderly villagers. Maung Yo’s health is poor and he was unable to flee Shwepyi Aye when the BA soldiers came.

A man close to the families of the deceased men said the authorities did not inform them of their deaths and they’re still waiting for their bodies to be returned. ”We heard it from our own news sources,” he said, without providing further details.

The BA has launched clearance operation in Pekon Township and Karenni State to crush resistance groups. Regime soldiers have shelled villages, broken into people’s homes to steal things and arbitrarily arrested many civilians who were forced to work for them, beating them and then imprisoning them.

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