Data Matters No. 13
(This article is a translation of the original Burmese language version that ISP-Myanmar posted on its Facebook page on April 8, 2022.)
According to records provided by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), and data compiled by ISP-Myanmar, a total of at least 2,345 civilians were killed nationwide between February 1, 2021, and April 6, 2022. The death toll includes those killed in violent crackdowns by the State Administration Council’s (SAC’s) forces; those killed during interrogation by the SAC, as well as those arrested and those who were shot and killed amidst armed conflicts. These figures are based on the available data; the true civilian death toll may be higher.
At least 1,730 people were killed in incidents related to the military coup, and about 615 people were killed as a result of the ensuing armed conflicts. In the aftermath of the military coup, there have been a number of civilian deaths every month. However, the higher monthly death tolls in December 2021 and February 2022 were the result of an increase in the number and ferocity of armed conflicts. Among the civilian deaths caused by these armed conflicts, the massacre of two Save the Children Myanmar staff, and more than 30 displaced residents in Kayah State’s Hpruso Township has caught public attention and elicited international condemnation.
The regions of Sagaing, Yangon and Mandalay have had the highest civilian deaths, accounting for 64 percent of the total death toll. The regions of Bago and Magway also reported at least 280 civilian deaths. Significantly, the five areas that reported the highest civilian deaths were the Regions, where Bamar ethnic majority lives. Of the total death toll, 1,486 were men and 150 were women; 94 others were unidentifiable. 86 percent of those who killed were men. At least 135 people killed were under the age of 18, and the age bracket 18-30 had the highest number of deaths, with at least 588 people killed.
∎ Why does it matter?
Studying the number of violent crackdowns, the number of victims who died during those crackdowns, the number of people killed as a result of targeted operations, as well as studying exactly how people were killed, can provide insight into the extent to which SAC’s forces have complied with internationally-agreed upon rules and regulations for dealing with mass protests. This data can also be used to determine whether human rights violations were committed from the perspective of transitional justice.
∎ Other relevant readings
Independent media and independent organizations such as the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) have monitored and collected detailed data on the number of protesters who were targeted, arrested, and killed during violent crackdowns in the aftermath of the February 1 military coup. They have also documented other issues such as the way SAC’s forces have responded to anti-coup protests, and evidence of human rights and dignity violations by government officials.