The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said it has obtained information alleging that two Burma Army soldiers raped a 17-year-old girl in Kachin State last month. The commission said no action has been taken against the alleged rapists despite complaints by the victim.
On April 10, the girl from Daingan village, located close to the town of Bhamo, rode her motorbike to search for her family’s missing cattle when she was stopped by two soldiers on the road. They forced her to drive to an abandoned farm house, where they allegedly held and raped her throughout the night, AHRC said in a statement released Tuesday.
The next morning the soldiers drove her to the town of Bhamo, but when a tire of the motorbike punctured she managed to escape. Soon after, her family filed a complaint at Dotponeyan Police Station and the victim underwent a medical examination, the commission said.
“However, one month after the incident, the police revealed that they had not yet opened a case against the alleged perpetrators. They said that although they identified one as Private Aung Naing Soe, the army had not cooperated and they could not identify the other,” AHRC said, adding that Aung Naing Soe had been stationed at Battalion of Engineering No. 914.
The Burma Army has stationed tens of thousands of troops in Kachin State in order to fight the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the three-year long conflict in northern Burma.
Government troops have been frequently accused of committing human rights abuses against local civilians in the region, but AHRC said “the military has long enjoyed impunity for offences committed against civilians, and despite recent political changes, prosecutions of errant soldiers are extremely rare.”
A Burmese women’s group said in January that the Burmese military is still using rape as a weapon of war, with more than 100 women and girls raped by soldiers since 2010.