Monday, May 20, 2024

Junta Troops Commit Gang Rapes and Extrajudicial Killings in Mongmit

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The Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) reported that Junta troops committed gang rapes and extrajudicial killings in Mongmit (Momeik) Township, Shan State.

SHRF’s statement on February 27th revealed that the Junta’s 99th Battalion, arriving from Mandalay in military vehicles, unlawfully killed civilians in Mongmit town and surrounding villages, also committed gang rapes on women on three occasions.

“One of the victims’ family and neighbors who fled to Mandalay have been contacted, and statements have been taken. Initially labeled as sexual violence, further investigation revealed that rape had occurred. The woman is currently receiving treatment at a hospital with her family”, Ying Lang Han, an official from SHRF told SHAN.

On January 19th three soldiers invaded a house in the Ywartawlay area, and gang raped a 24-year-old woman in her bed, after threatening her family members with guns. However the details of the case have not been disclosed.

On January 20th, a local married couple from Ohnkyaw New Village was returning from the forest to the village when Junta troops shot and killed the man. They then gang-raped the woman and eventually fatally shot her in the neck, SHRF said.

Similarly, on January 26th, near Shwezarli village in Mogok Township, a woman hiding in the forest was discovered by Junta troops and subjected to gang rape. The woman sustained serious injuries and is presently undergoing medical treatment.

“The woman’s injuries were primarily due to beatings, with bruised marks visible on her body and injuries around the genital area. She has suffered severe emotional trauma and is currently unable to speak”, the SHRF official said.

On January 21st, troops attempted to sexually assault a group of five local women from Thayettaw village. However, they were ultimately freed thanks to the intervention of a man, and they were able to reunite with their families.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) launched an offensive to capture Mongmit in the third week of January. However, on January 27th, the town fell back under the control of the coup Military Council.

Between January 1st and February 2nd, over 6,000 civilians were displaced in Mongmit due to shelling and airstrikes by the Junta, with 27 fatalities and 12 injuries, as reported by SHRF.

“We will refer these cases to the International Criminal Court and other international justice mechanisms. Whether to take action or not will depend solely on international organizations and entities like the United Nations. We will continue in gathering information and investigating the incidents, acknowledging that there may be other cases we have yet to identify”, Ying Lang Han said.

Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) reported that on July 30th last year, soldiers from the Junta’s 569th Light Infantry Battalion in Kutkai separately gang-raped two women from Swamlon village.

SHRF’s report on the gang rape of women in Mongmit by Junta troops has yet to be independently confirmed by the Shan Herald through locals.

On February 28th, the Junta declared martial law in Mabein and Mongmit townships in Mongmit District and appointed Brigadier General Soe Hlaing, the commander of the Northern Regional Command, as the responsible authority.

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