Myanmar Lawyers Seek Presidential Approval to Sue Police for Revealing Raped Toddler Identity

By Moe Moe 15 January 2020

NAYPYITAW – The Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar (ILAM) on Tuesday sought approval from the President’s Office to file a lawsuit against police officers for revealing the identities of the Naypyitaw toddler who was raped and her relatives in a widely watched press conference in Naypyitaw.

According to Article 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is necessary to seek presidential approval to file a lawsuit against civil servants.

The court would reject any lawsuit filed without approval, said lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw.

The ILAM asked President U Win Myint to approve the filing of a lawsuit against head of the Criminal Investigation Department Police Brigadier-General Soe Naing Oo, department director Police Colonel Min Han and section head Police Colonel Thar Dun and the officer responsible for the police Facebook page, under the Child Rights Law.

The Irrawaddy was unable to obtain a police comment.

The Lower House Women and Child Rights Committee received a complaint against the police, said committee chairwoman Dr. Khin Soe Soe Kyi. The committee would deal with the complaint when the parliamentary session resumed, she added.

Naypyitaw’s Dekkhinathiri District Court on Dec. 18 discharged Ko Aung Gyi, who was controversially accused of raping the toddler, over lack of evidence.

“This means he is released as there is no evidence for the time being. This case will continue to be heard until new evidence and new suspects are found,” said Dr. Khin Soe Soe Kyi.

In a live-streamed press conference the day after the release of Ko Aung Gyi, the Criminal Investigation Department officers revealed the identities of the victim and her family.

The police later posted on the “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.

The ILAM said it would take other action if the President’s Office failed to respond.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Yangon and Mandalay and called for the police officers to be prosecuted after they revealed her identity.

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

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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