The two soldiers confess their crimes in a monotone, a few blinks of the eye their only betrayal of emotion: executions, mass burials, village obliterations and rape.
The August 2017 order from his commanding officer was clear, Pvt. Myo Win Tun said in video testimony. “Shoot all you see and all you hear.”
He said he obeyed, taking part in the massacre of 30 Rohingya Muslims and burying them in a mass grave near a cell tower and a military base.
Around the same time, in a neighboring township, Pvt. Zaw Naing Tun said he and his comrades in another battalion followed a nearly identical directive from his superior: “Kill all you see, whether children or adults.”
“We wiped out about 20 villages,” Private Zaw Naing Tun said, adding that he, too, dumped bodies in a mass grave.
The video testimony from the two soldiers, which was shared with international prosecutors, is the first time that members of the Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s military is known, have openly confessed to taking part in what United Nations officials say was a genocidal campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.