Burma

Naypyitaw Mothers Concerned Over Alleged Nursery Rape

By Moe Moe 3 June 2019

Naypyitaw—Parents have expressed serious concerns after details of the alleged rape of a female toddler at a private nursery school in Naypyitaw’s Zabuthiri Township spread on Facebook.

The mother of the alleged victim, who is 2 years and 11 months old, filed a complaint with Police Station No. 1 in the township on May 17, and police have been interrogating a suspect on since May 30, a police officer confirmed to The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity. Police have opened a case under Penal Code sections 376 and 51 for rape and attempted offence.

Concern among parents spread on May 31, when the account of Facebook username Poe Phyu wrote on her Facebook page that a girl had been sexually abused at Wisdom Hill School (WHS), in Thabyaygon, the center of Zabuthiri Township.

“This news made me worry about the safety of my daughter,” Daw Thiri Cho, whose daughter attends WHS, said.

The school organized a press conference in Naypyitaw on Saturday, but the chairperson of the WHS management board U Than Sein told the media that police had barred the school from sharing much information.

“What was posted on Facebook is not true, and many other allegations are not true. Police who are handling the case will know the most,” U Than Sein told reporters after the press conference.

Around 30 parents attended the press conference, many unsatisfied with the answers given by WHS authorities. They asked authorities why the school had allegedly deactivated its Facebook page after the news went viral on social media, insisting that they should have been informed about the case immediately.

School authorities said they did not inform parents because the case could not be confirmed, and deactivated the Facebook page for fear that spreading unverified information could make the situation worse.

“I wrote about it on social media because I have a daughter and I don’t want that to happen again. I disclosed it because they had covered it up,” Poe Phyu told The Irrawaddy.

Daw Khaing Thazin, vice principal of the school, denied that the incident happened inside the school.

“We can guarantee that it didn’t happen in our school. Our teachers can also guarantee that,” Daw Khaing Thazin said.

She told reporters that the school was going to sue Facebook-user Poe Phyu under Article 66 (d) of the Telecommunications Law for defaming the school.

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