05/31/2021, 11.25
MYANMAR
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Loikaw, a Catholic seminary volunteer killed

by Francis Khoo Thwe

He was murdered for no reason during a raid on the religious building, where refugees and displaced people were housed. The security forces terrorize the population with gunfire, raids, searches. The priests try to stop them, but to no avail. Between 15 February and 15 May, 73 young people under the age of 18 have been killed.

Loikaw (AsiaNews) - A volunteer who worked in the Catholic Church minor seminary in the capital of the Kayah state was killed by security forces. The killing took place two days ago during a military raid on the building, with a room-by-room search. According to some locals, there was no motive for the killing, as the young man posed no resistance.

The soldiers, however, are very tense: for at least a week the armed groups of the Karen (Defense Forces of the Karenni People) have attacked some bases and killed 40 soldiers. To counter the work of armed ethnic groups, soldiers are provoking the population with violence and killings.

On 24 May they bombed the Sacred Heart Church in Kayantharyar, killing four people who had taken refuge there. On May 28, they hit the church of Saint Joseph in Demoso and killed two young men who were recovering food for the displaced.

In order not to remain at the mercy of the soldiers, the population tries to gather in churches, chapels, convents and the seminary. For this reason, the security forces have been terrorizing the population for days with gunfire, raids, searches. The priests tried to stop them, but to no avail.

Soldiers continue to make their violent presence felt around the seminary, nunnery and home for the elderly in Loikaw. “We are hostages in their hands,” says one young man.

To tire the resistance and the demonstrations that have followed one after another since the first days of the coup, the military strike lethally targeting young people.

The ministry for human rights of the government of national unity - formed in exile against the junta – reports that between February 15 and May 15, 73 young people under the age of 18 (63 boys and 9 girls) were killed.

Some were targeted during the demonstrations; others cold killed during house searches; still others while they were playing on the street.

The Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners has issued a new report on the violence of the junta: until last night, 840 were killed; there are 4409 prisoners.

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