A Baptist pastor was shot dead in Chin state in Myanmar/Burma on 18 September amid continued attacks by the Myanmar military on civilians in the state.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Pastor Cung Biak Hum, 31, was shot by soldiers as he tried to help extinguish a blaze caused by artillery fire, which destroyed 19 homes in the Thantlang township. The Chin Human Rights Organization reported that soldiers proceeded to remove the pastor’s finger and steal his wedding ring.
In response to the killing, Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar tweeted: “The murder of a Baptist minister and bombing of homes in Thantlang, Chin State are the latest examples of the living hell being delivered daily by junta forces against the people of Myanmar. The world needs to pay closer attention. More importantly, the world needs to act.”
On 1 February, the Myanmar army, known as the Tatmadaw, seized power in a coup. This sparked widespread national protests, marches and walk-outs which have been met with a heavy-handed and violent response from the army and police, involving water cannons, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Attacks on civilians, including the use of military airstrikes, have been widely documented in Chin, Kayah, Karen and Kachin states.
Benedict Rogers, CSW’s Senior Analyst on East Asia and author of three books on Myanmar, said: “CSW extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Pastor Cung Biak Hum, who was killed as his community and many others like it continue to suffer violence and grave human rights violations at the hands of the Myanmar army.
“We echo calls for increased international action, and reiterate the urgent need for a global arms embargo on the country as a means of pressuring the military regime to end its horrific treatment of the people of Myanmar.”