Burma

Six More Sued in Myanmar Toddler Rape Case

By Zarni Mann 27 September 2019

MANDALAY – Wisdom Hill nursery school’s supervisor has filed another lawsuit against six more people, including the victim’s father, in the prominent toddler rape case in Naypyitaw.

Daw Ohnmar Hlaing, the supervisor at the nursery school, filed the lawsuit against the victim’s father, uncle, aunt and their lawyer, Daw Ywat Nu Aung, under the Child Rights Law on Thursday.

Daw Ywat Nu Aung told 7 Day News on Friday that she had done nothing wrong.

She said the case was of nationwide interest so she told the media about the court sessions, which were held in open court, meaning journalists were already covering the case.

“What I explained to the media was the exact situation and the words used in the court. So I’m not afraid to face any lawsuit. I have not broken any law,” the lawyer added.

A separate lawsuit against Daw Su Darli Aung, the lawyer for the defendant in the case, Aung Gyi, was filed under the Child Rights Law and the Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens by the supervisor at Naypyitaw’s Pobbathiri Township Court on Wednesday. 

The toddler was named “Victoria” by child-rights activists and the case quickly attracted nationwide attention.

Patta police confirmed the lawsuits had been registered and that officers were investigating and seeking legal advice before taking the charges to the court.

Dr. Win Ko Ko Thein, who helped Victoria’s family, and U Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer for the detained suspect, driver Aung Gyi, are included in the lawsuit.

Daw Ohnmar Hlaing claimed Victoria’s family submitted an “illegal” video showing the victim pointing to pictures of her two sons and using their nicknames.

The victim’s lawyer and the defense lawyers said they were just repeating the testimony of the victim’s father, who referred to the two sons.

Dr. Win Ko Ko Thein, who helped the victim’s family, posted on Facebook about the testimony, Daw Ohnmar Hlaing’s lawsuit said. 

The toddler is heard in the video to make apparent references to the sons of Daw Ohnmar Hlaing. 

It has been widely claimed on social media that the teenagers are to blame and that Aung Gyi, the detained driver, is a scapegoat.

The supervisor’s lawsuit said the victim’s family was submitting illegal evidence to the court based on the accusations from social media. The decision by the lawyers and doctor to repeat the allegations abused the rights of her teenage sons, leaving them traumatized, she added.

The victim’s father said: “I will go on fighting for justice for my daughter and overcome these troubles.”

Dr. Win Ko Ko Thein (or Thetka Moe Nyo on social media) is a deputy director of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports. He said there was nothing to say about the lawsuit.

“I wonder why they tried to file the lawsuit. They may have the right to do so but I have nothing to say about it,” he said.

Dr. Win Ko Ko Thein already faces a lawsuit from July under the Electronic Transactions Law for “defaming” the authorities on Facebook with his criticism of the investigation of the case. 

Rights lawyer U Thein Than Oo said the lawsuits were a threat to the justice system.

“We can’t decide if it is legal or not, based on what the victim’s father has done. It is the court who will make the decision. He is the father and he will do whatever he can to get justice for his daughter,” said U Thein Than Oo.

“The lawsuits are a threat to those who are working for justice. Lawyers in the future might not talk to the media about court sessions or even refuse to take cases.”

A complaint of sexual assault against the then-2-year-old girl, who attended the Wisdom Hill nursery school, was filed by her mother on May 17.

Aung Gyi (aka Aung Kyaw Myo), who worked as the driver for the supervisor of the school, was charged in early July.

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