Military MP as Child Abuse Case Witness Awaits Burma Army Nod

By Thu Zar 6 January 2016

RANGOON — Police are awaiting approval from the Burma Army to bring a militarily appointed lawmaker to trial in connection with the alleged beating of a child at his Rangoon home.

Kyaw Htut, the deputy police colonel of Rangoon’s Western District, said authorities are waiting for the authorization of Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw’s battalion before bringing the man, an unelected lawmaker in Parliament’s Upper House, to court as a witness in the child abuse case, which reportedly played out at his home in Rangoon’s Bahan Township.

The 8-year-old victim was living in the house and the case gained widespread attention in November after a picture of her—kneeling naked with her hands tied behind her back by a woman said to be a housemaid—went viral on Facebook.

Police pressed charges against Than Nwe, the housemaid, under Article 66(d) of the Child Law, pertaining to maltreatment of minors.

“His mother battalion is in Myeik, and he will come for testimony only when his mother battalion approves of it. So far, we have not yet got that approval,” said Kyaw Htut.

“He is still at the battalion. There’s talk that he has resigned, but it is not official. If he is officially allowed to resign, we don’t need to seek any approval. We just can summon him for trial,” he added.

Kyaw Nu Maw’s battalion in Tenasserim Division’s Myeik Township is currently interrogating him, according to the deputy police colonel.

Than Nwe’s trial began on Dec. 7, and the fourth hearing is scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Bahan Township Court. The victim and her mother have been sent to a women’s vocational training school in the commercial capital.

Some local media reports have indicated that Kyaw Nu Maw was discharged from the military, but there has not yet been an official statement from the Burma Army and The Irrawaddy was unable to confirm those reports on Wednesday.