Fortify Rights and Yale Law School’s Schell Center Report that Myanmar Junta Authorized Attacks on Civilians

The group Fortify Rights and Yale Law School’s Schell Center said the junta leadership deployed snipers to kill protesters to instill fear while instructing soldiers to commit crimes and gave them a “fieldcraft” manual that contained no guidance on rules of war. 

After a joint investigation, the investigators released a 193-page report on Thursday, containing analysis of leaked documents and 128 testimonies from survivors, medical workers, witnesses, and former military and police about the turmoil in Myanmar in the six months after the coup on Feb. 1 last year.

The investigators said they had obtained and verified internal memos to police ordering them to arbitrarily arrest protesters, activists, and members of the ousted ruling party, and cited testimony from victims of torture and other abuses.

“All individuals responsible for these crimes should be sanctioned and prosecuted,” said Matthew Smith, Head of Fortify Rights and co-author of the report. 

Smith recommended members of the United Nations push for a global arms embargo on Myanmar and international legal action against its generals.

Earlier, a U.N. report concluded that the Myanmar army was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, but the junta dismissed accusations of atrocities as foreign interference based on falsehoods.

Fortify Rights is an independent non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia, funded by donations from Europe, Asia, the United States, and private foundations. 

The Schell Center was set up at Yale Law School in 1989 for law students and graduates to specialize in international human rights and assist human rights organizations.

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