Lawyers to Sue Naypyitaw Police for Naming Raped Toddler

By Moe Moe 3 January 2020

Naypyitaw – Lawyers are planning to sue and ask for compensation from the police after officers revealed the identities of the raped toddler and her relatives in a widely watched press conference in Naypyitaw.

Lawyers will sue the police under the Child Rights Law and also file a civil case against them in order to demand compensation for mental anguish inflicted on the victim.

“We are still considering at which court to sue the police,” said lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw, as the lawsuit has to be at a specific court depending on the amount of compensation they want to demand for the victim.

The lawsuit has to be filed at the regional high court for an amount higher than 1 billion kyats (US$680,000) and for lower amounts a district-level court can be used.

The father of the victim on Dec. 27 handed over the power of attorney to writer U Htin Lin Oo, who is helping the girl’s family, to open cases against the police. And U Htin Lin Oo again handed over the power of attorney to the Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar (ILAM) on Thursday.

U Htin Lin Oo together with other backers has formed a committee to support the girl and her family. The ILAM will file the lawsuit against the police under Article 101 of the Child Rights Law, which bars identifying and obtaining information about a minor involved in a case.

The ILAM would file the lawsuit against the police officers who revealed the identities of the victim and her relatives, said lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw.

The Myanmar Police Force has made no comment. Naypyitaw’s Dekkhinathiri District Court on Dec. 18 discharged Ko Aung Gyi, who was controversially accused of being the perpetrator in the toddler rape case, over lack of evidence.

In a live-streamed press conference the following day, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Brigadier General Soe Naing Oo, and Police Colonel Min Han revealed the identity of the victim.

The police later posted on their “Ye Zarni” Facebook page a handwritten complaint filed by the parents. The complaint reveals the names of the victim and her parents, as well as their address and occupations.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Yangon and Mandalay calling for the police officers to be punished.

The 3-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at the Wisdom Hill nursery school in Zabuthiri Township on May 16. She was 2 at the time.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko 

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