Ethnic Issues

Ta’ang Rape Victim Claims Attackers Army Soldiers

By Lawi Weng 17 May 2019

An ethnic Ta’ang woman on Sunday informed officers at Namsan Township Police Station in northern Shan State that she was raped by who she believes to be two soldiers of the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, according to local sources.

Lway Chee Sangar, a spokesperson for the Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO) based in Lashio, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the victim was held at gunpoint and raped by the two men on May 10 at a tea farm in Hu Kin Village.

“She reported the incident to the police to allow for immediate investigation and she will file charges soon” said Lway Chee Sangar.

Ta’ang civil society groups, including TWO consulted with the victim to assist her in finding justice.

Police are investigating the case and have visited the site of the crime, according to TWO.

The 27-year-old victim was working on her tea farm alone when one man approached her asking where the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army (TNLA) base is. A second man then approached and pointed the gun at her before they proceeded to rape her, according to Lway Chee Sangar.

The victim claims the men are soldiers are from Light Infantry Battalion No. 258 which is under the control of military’s Infantry Division 101. The battalion has been based in the area for the over a week. She and community leaders from her village have already informed the battalion but received only denials that it was soldiers from their battalion.

“We want the victim to be able to find justice fairly because she was raped at gunpoint,” said Lway Chee Sangar.

When The Irrawaddy called Namsan Township Police Station on Friday, a police officer was able to confirm that the woman had reported the crime but said that he did not have authority to speak about it further.

Brig-Gen. Zaw Min Tun, the military’s spokesperson based in Naypyitaw told The Irrawaddy over the phone on Friday that his department had not yet received any information about the case.

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