Senior Myanmar Police Officer Jailed for Demanding Sex From Female Subordinates

By May Sitt Paing 6 July 2020

YANGON—A senior Myanmar police officer was imprisoned last week for sexually exploiting his female subordinates, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Police Brigadier-General Zaw Moe Than, who had overall responsibility for the process of making appointments within the Myanmar Police Force, was detained and underwent an internal investigation after the ministry received a complaint that he demanded sex from a female officer in exchange for a promotion.

“He was found guilty of the offense and was imprisoned on Friday. He was sent to Yamethin Prison [in Mandalay Region],” said ministry spokesman Police Colonel Kyaw Thiha.

The officer faces a maximum punishment of three years in prison under the Myanmar Police Force Maintenance of Discipline Law, Police Colonel Kyaw Thiha said, adding, however, that he did not have specific details of the sentence handed down in this case.

When the case first emerged, it was known only that a female police officer had filed a complaint against Zaw Moe Than, but according to sources in the police force, at least eight female officers filed complaints accusing him of sexual exploitation.

“We are grateful that action has been taken against him. But whether the punishment fits his crime is another question. Female officers can also file lawsuits against him under the Penal Code, and open civil cases,” said lawyer U Thein Than Oo.

Government spokesman U Zaw Htay told The Irrawaddy in late June that Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant-General Soe Htut had briefed government leaders on Zaw Moe Than’s sexual abuse of female officers.

The Home Affairs Ministry said it took punitive action against 2,817 police officers and 6,730 other officials from 2016 to 2020. Among these, 19 police officers were punished under the Anti-Corruption Law.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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