RANGOON — Two new rape cases—including one involving underage victims—were filed with the local police in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township on Sunday, according to police records.
In the first case, in Sunday morning, a 40-year-old man, U Hla Htwe—also known as U Kyin Watt—is accused of sexually abusing two children, a boy, aged seven, and a four-year-old girl, who live in a squatter’s hut in the township.
U Hla Htwe was arrested and is being investigated under sections 376 and 377 of Burma’s penal code for rape and “unnatural offenses,” both of which can be punished with up to 20 years in prison and fines.
A 20-year-old woman also reported being raped on Sunday by 31-year-old U Sein Pyaung, who is a driver for the office of Mandalay Division’s Advocate General, and lives within the office’s compound. Police records say that the victim was dragged into a room within the compound and raped.
According to the No. (3) Police Station in Mandalay, the accused is now in detention and has been charged under Section 376 of Burma’s penal code.
Over the weekend, the lawyers, artists, members of Parliament and netizens campaigned against sexual violence against children in Rangoon and Mandalay.
The campaigners called for harsher penalties for convicted offenders, pointing out that it was common for perpetrators to avoid jail time by compensating victims, to be released after short prison sentences, or to escape punishment altogether.