Army Vows Probe After Video of Officer Beatings Circulates

By Lawi Weng 4 February 2016

RANGOON — The Burma Army has vowed to investigate its own after a video surfaced online showing senior officers beating their junior counterparts at a training facility in footage that stirred passionate reactions on social media this week.

The footage has made the rounds among Burmese Facebook users in recent days, prompting online outrage and calls for action from the military to hold the perpetrating officers accountable. Several senior officers are seen repeatedly punching, kicking and kneeing their juniors in the stomach and chest, with the victims apparently instructed not to attempt to defend themselves.

An unknown Facebook user first posted the video to his or her account.

According to a Burma Army information officer, the incident took place during a sergeant training course in southern Shan State.

Regarding the video footage, Col. Khin Maung Cho from the military’s Information Communication Team told The Irrawaddy: “It is easy to say where those army [officers] are based, and where they were from, if we look at their shoulder logo. Their responsible battalion officers will take action and investigate it.”

“No one will accept such torture actions if those guys are your brothers, right?” he said, adding that his team would issue a statement once it could verify the details of the incident.

Ye Htut from the President’s Office has also weighed in, posting a strong condemnation of the perpetrating officers’ conduct to his Facebook account.

“I want you to understand that because the acts you have done ruin not only the image of your training school but also the image of the military, the leadership will not forgive,” he wrote on Wednesday.