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Rehmonnya: Another Brutal Assault at the Hands of a Burmese Soldier

Another Brutal Assault at the Hands of a Burmese Soldier (click to view)

HURFOM: On January 26, Mi Cho, 43, was assaulted and beaten by Second Corporal Ye Min Tun, from Artillery Battalion No. 315, which is based west of Wae Ka Lee village, Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State. This marks the second sexual assault by a Burmese solder in Thanbyuzayat in just four and a half weeks, and military authorities are trying to suppress any news of the attack.

Early on the morning of January 26th, Mi Cho was collecting rubber liquid in the rubber plantation nearby the Artillery Battalion No. 315, when she was hugged by Second Corporal Ye Min Tun. Ye Min Tun tried to rape her, but Mi Cho struggled and bit his arm, whereupon Ye Min Tun beat her severly. Mi Cho wrestled against Ye Min Tun’s attack for almost a half an hour, until she finally managed to escape and run away from him.

Mi Cho ran to a nearby rubber plantation, where the workers found her and brought her to the hospital. She was brought to Wae Rat Clinic, but the clinic could not treat her so she was transported to Thanbyuzayat Hospital. Then, Mi Cho was sent to Moulmein Hospital, because Thanbyuayat Hospital could not treat her either.

Burmese authorities not only failed to act upon the December 24, 2013 sexual assault committed by a soldier from Infantry Battalion No. 31, in Khaw Zar Sub-Township, Ye Township (,but authorities also tried to protect the soldier by concealing the case. Whilst the military is supposed to protect the public, they are, in fact, the ones assaulting and insulting the residents.

According to a source from the New Mon State Party (NMSP) liaison office in Thanbbyuzayat, “[Mi Cho] was not spread, so they need to investigate further information to know whether or not she was raped”. The source alleges that the “Burmese military tried to conceal the sexual case, claiming there was just [an] attack. They will [not] take full responsibility for it. The police are also trying to investigate the case so this issue will not be silenced easily”.

Thanbyuzayat resident Nai Shew explains, “The Second Corporal was not able to rape her, but beat her. The husband of the victim settled and did not want to sue the criminal because he has to work nearby the Artillery Battalion in the future. But I also heard that Mi Cho’s husband asked [for] help from the NMSP’s liaison office”.

According to the Thanbyuzayat liaison office, Mi Cho’s husband reported the case to the NMSP liaison office not to sue the culprit, but to report it step by step, in order to record it.

The police station has requested NMSP’s Thanbyuzayat liaison office not to report the case to the NMSP center or to the media, but NMSP’s Moulmein District department has ordered the NMSP’s liaison office in Moulmein to report detailed information.

According to a local source, the authorities are trying to suppress news of the attack by monitoring and observing people; and “people who work for human rights can’t sit in the internet café for [a] long time”.

On January 29th, some NMSP members visited Mi Cho at the hospital in Moulmein to encourage her, but her condition is still in danger.