Tailor Shop Abuse Case Goes to Court

By The Irrawaddy 29 September 2016

RANGOON—Six members of a family accused of human trafficking and child abuse at downtown Rangoon’s Ava Tailor Shop appeared at a hearing at the western district court on Thursday.

The six family members are facing several charges under the Anti-Human Trafficking Law, and the Child Law, Penal Code 325 and 326 for “voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means,” and 344 for “wrongful confinement for ten or more days.”

The six accused are: Daw Tin Thuzar (57), U Ko Latt (63), Ma Su Mon Latt (27), Ko Tin Min Latt (37), Ko Yar Zar Tun (25) and Ma Thiri Latt (34). The next hearing will be held on Oct. 6, according to the court.

The sixth accused member of the family named Ma Thiri Latt turned herself in to the Kyauktada Township police station on Wednesday, according to the police force’s official Facebook page.

The two victims of the abuse case, San Kay Khaing aged 16 and and Tha Zin aged 17, suffered five years of physical abuse and confinement at the hands of owners of the tailor shop on 40th Street in the heart of the former capital.

The case was initially filed at the Kyauktada Township police station three months ago by U Swe Win, chief correspondent of Myanmar Now news agency, after a member of the family informed him about the abuse and asked for help in rescuing the girls. The whistleblower has not been identified by U Swe Win.

When the police failed to take action, U Swe Win contacted the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC).

Burma’s Lower House approved an emergency proposal, calling for the dismissal of three Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) members for urging the families of the two underage domestic workers to settle the case with cash compensation instead of legal action.