Yangon—A 12-year-old girl was raped and brutally murdered in Kachin State’s Mogaung Township on Sunday.
The girl together with her younger brother went into woods near her village to collect firewood on Sunday morning. She left her brother in the woods and headed back to a farm hut near their village to get a drink of water, but was apparently raped and killed on the way.
“Her bother waited for a long time and then searched for her. He found her stiff body around 11 am in the woods,” U Kyaw Lwin Soe, chairman of the Lawkahta Sarira social organization based in Mogaung Township, told The Irrawaddy.
The girl was a student attending 5th grade at a local school. Their village, Aung Mingalar, is about two miles from Mogaung, and the woods where the crime happened lies to the west of the village.
According to a postmortem, she had been stabbed around 10 times in her chest, shoulders, waist and limbs and slashed across her neck, in addition to the signs of rape.
“Her family has opened a case for rape and murder. We are still trying to identify the offender,” an officer at Mogaung Township Police Station said.
U Kyaw Lwin Soe said further forensic tests were carried out on Monday, “I felt both angry and sad upon seeing her body. I could not stop the tears. The offender should be given the death penalty,” he said, calling the crime “inhuman”.
According to the Home Affairs Ministry, there were 897 cases of child rape [children aged under 16] nationwide in 2017—up from 671 in 2016.
In Kachin State, there were 14 cases of child rape in 2016, with the number increasing to 21 in 2017. Meanwhile, there were 1,405 cases of women above the age of 16 being raped in 2017 across the country.
On Feb. 8, women activists launched a campaign near North Dagon Township Court in Yangon calling for harsher legal measures including capital punishment to deter rapists.