A UN special reporter in Myanmar claimed that the country's military has been systematically abducting relatives of people in its wanted list. The junta has also been abducting children, some of whom are as young as 20 weeks old.
The UN Human Rights Council said Wednesday that the situation in Myanmar has continued to deteriorate despite international efforts to stabilize the country. UN special reporter, Tom Andrews, told the council that military forces have murdered more than 1,100 people in the country since they took over.
Andrews said that dozens of children have also been killed. He estimates that as of July, the military had killed at least 75 children ranging from 1 to 17 years old. He also told the council that the junta was abducting relatives of individuals they could not locate.
"I have received credible reports that junta forces have arbitrarily detained at least 177 individuals when the initial target of a raid had successfully eluded arrest," Andrews said.
Since the Myanmar military seized power in February, an estimated 8,000 people have been detained. The junta has mostly arrested those who have challenged its rule, including politicians, activists, journalists, and medical workers.
Andrews urged the council to help avert further human rights abuses and murders in Myanmar. He urged the international community to do more in helping the people in the country, including the more than 230,000 civilians that have been displaced because of the conflict.
Earlier in the week, violent military and rebel encounters have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. Local media reports said at least 7,500 people were forced to flee in a town in western Myanmar.
A report by a military-controlled media publication said the military forces were ambushed in the western town by "some 100 terrorists" on Monday. The report said Myanmar military personnel were shot upon by the "terrorists" while they were patrolling the town of Thantlang near the Indian border. The entire population of the small town was forced to flee after soldiers and rebels "began to randomly shoot" houses, witnesses said.
"I never thought of running from my own house even after the military bombed it... but as things got worse... I finally had to flee," one resident said.