Burma

Reported Rape Cases Doubled in 2016

By Wai Wai Lwin 2 January 2017

RANGOON — An annual statement from the Rangoon Police Force revealed that the number of reported rape cases more than doubled from 2015 to 2016.

The number of rape cases rose from 110 rape to 229 in the past year.

Rangoon also saw 180 murders, one robbery, five burglaries, and 51 muggings in the city in 2016, all down from 2015, according to the statement.

Women’s rights activists, as well as members of the public, have voiced concern over the significant rise in child rape cases and have carried out campaigns calling for harsher penalties against sex offenders. There have even been calls for the death penalty.

Lawmakers also raised the issue in Parliament and the government has promised to revise laws affecting children to better protect minors.

Referring to the increase of reported rape cases in 2016, Daw Kyi Pyar, a Rangoon regional lawmaker from Kyauktada Township said that, “people have more awareness of [rape] cases because media became more powerful.”

“People are now helping each other file cases to local police stations,” she explained.

According to the police report, other small crimes—more than 1,000 cases of theft cases and more than 5,000 cases of “causing harm”—were reported in the city in 2016, including several hundred drug, prostitution, and gambling cases.

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