YANGON — A 14-year-old former housemaid visiting Yangon to testify against the family who allegedly tortured her has escaped a 20-day ordeal of kidnap and rape to return to her home in Mandalay.
The girl from Myittha Township worked at the house of a retired lieutenant colonel of the Myanmar Army in Yangon’s Mayangon Township for more than one year.
She is suing the lieutenant colonel and his family for allegedly abusing and torturing her. The court heard how she was sent back to her home in Mandalay after the wife of the lieutenant colonel forced another housemaid to knock six of her teeth out with a pestle.
“I have had my four upper teeth and two lower teeth knocked out by another housemaid. The wife of the house owner asked her to hit me with a pestle. Her husband also kicked me in the face. I was also hit with pans in my back, and slapped as well,” the girl told The Irrawaddy.
On discovering her injuries, the girl’s parents worked with human rights activists to file a complaint at Bayintnaung police station in Yangon in January.
On July 4, the girl returned to Yangon to testify against her former employers. Accompanied by her grandmother, she arrived at the Aung Mingalar Express Bus Terminal, and the pair spent the night at a nearby monastery.
When the grandmother woke up, the girl was missing. A man in his 20s had abducted her at knifepoint, said the girl, and held her for 20 days.
“He threatened to kill me. He took me to a room in a house in Pale Township. I was raped. I can identify him,” she told The Irrawaddy.
She managed to leave the house, she explained, and worked at a local eatery until she had enough money to return to Mandalay on July 25.
Lawyer U Robert San Aung of the Myanmar Lawyers’ Network said lieutenant colonel U Myint Htwe of Yangon Region Police Force would investigate the abduction and rape, adding that the network would cooperate with the police to find the rapist.
Bayintnaung police station has opened a case against the retired lieutenant colonel and his family for the torture of their former housemaid.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko