SHATTERING SILENCES

 

 

 

 

Karen Women speak out about

the Burmese Military Regime’s use of Rape

as a Strategy of War in Karen State

 

By

 

The Karen Women's Organization (KWO)

 

with the collaboration of

 

The Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP),

The Karen Information Center (KIC),

The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

The Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department

 

 

April 2004

 

 

 


 

 

 

 Front Cover Image

 

 

As this report demonstrates women in Burma face multiple violations of their human rights. They are raped, beaten, forced to work as porters and murdered. There is no peace or freedom in the villages in which they live. The Burmese military soldiers routinely come into their villages and in addition to the abuse their constant demands for food, bamboo and housing materials, depletes the few resources that women have to feed their families.   These demands are issued in the form of written orders. They are numbered and bear the mark of the SPDC.

 

The woman in the image on the cover weeps in the face of these ongoing demands and the continued violations of her human rights.

 

 

 

 


Acknowledgements

 

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the participants and contributors who courageously shared their stories and gave their precious time and energy to inform this report.

 

We also extend thanks to Refugee International Research, Interparis, BRC and Saw Hser Wah for the valuable financial support which made researching and printing of this report possible.

 

A very special thanks to friends Eileen Pittaway, Linda Bartolomei, Alison Aggarwal and Colleen Bartolomei from the Asian Women Human Rights Council (AWHRC) and the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women (ANCORW). Without their timely assistance in design, editing and coordination, this report would not have been possible. 

 

We express additional thanks to all KWO supporters, friends and colleagues. May we all continue to work with the same cooperative and collaborative spirit in the field of women's rights throughout the country.


Table of Contents                                             Page Number

 

 

Acronyms                                                                                 5

 

Executive Summary                                                                  6

 

Recommendations                                                                    7

 

Introduction                                                                             10

                                                                        

Methodology                                                                            11     

 

Rape - A Human Rights Violation                                             12

 

History of the Karen People                                                      14               

Findings                                                                                   16

 

Conclusion                                                                               25

 

Detailed cases                                                                           26

 

Data Source list for the Detailed Cases                                       66

 

 

 

 

Annex 1: Complete List of Rape Cases

 

Annex 2: KWO – Aims of the organisation

 

Annex 3: Map of Karen State

 

 


ACRONYMS

 

 

CEDAW     Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

                   Discrimination  Against Women

 

CIDKP       The Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People

 

KHRG        The Karen Human Rights Group

 

KIC             The Karen Information Center

 

KNU           The Karen National Union

 

KWO          The Karen Women’s Organisation

 

SLORC       The State Law & Order Restoration Council (now SPDC)

 

SPDC                   The State Peace and Development Council

 

UNHCR      The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

UNCHR      The United Nations Commission on Human Rights

 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

"…if you shout I’ll choke you…. If you fight or cry or shout, I’ll kill you“ [1]

 

This report “Shattering Silences” clearly documents the widespread and systematic rape being committed by the Burmese military against Karen women in Burma. Most of these incidents have been committed with impunity, creating a climate of fear for Karen women in Burma. The cases reported demonstrate how rape is actively being used as a strategy by the SPDC[2] military to intimidate, control, shame and ethnically cleanse Karen groups in Burma. Despite the current “ceasefire talks” between the SPDC and the Karen National Union (KNU), the SPDC has continued to perpetrate human rights violations against Karen people in Karen State. At the time of publication in April 2004, Karen women continue to be killed and raped by SPDC soldiers, forced to work as porters and forced from their homes.

 

This is the first report that focuses on the atrocities being committed by the SLORC/SPDC military against the Karen women. The report explores the patterns of rapes committed against the Karen women by the SLORC/SPDC soldiers and the effects on the women and their families.  The report locates these atrocities within a human rights framework, to show the direct link of accountability the SPDC bears for the violations committed in these cases.  It also demonstrates the multiplicity of human rights violations occurring, as the rape of women is often committed in conjunction with other human rights violations such as beating, mutilation, torture, murder, forced labour, denial of rights to food, water and shelter, and denial of the right to legal redress. These rapes occur as   part of a strategy designed to terrorize and subjugate the Karen people, to completely destroy their culture and communities. This report demonstrates very clearly that it is the women who bear the greatest burden of these systematic attacks, as they are doubly oppressed both on the grounds of their ethnicity and their gender.

 

Many foreign governments continue talking about Burma as a country which simply lacks democratic systems.  In fact, Burma not only lacks democratic principles and institutions, but also has the worst kind of authoritarian regime - one that commits atrocities against its own people, on a scale that amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. In their speaking out here against the SLORC/SPDC soldiers and commanders who have raped them, the women of courage who have shared their stories have shattered the silences behind which their rapists have hidden. The shame was and is not the women’s to bear but lies instead with every soldier and commander who has raped Karen women and girls and with the Burmese military regime who continues to allow these gross violations of women’s human rights to continue with impunity.

 

As the world comes to realize the full extent of human rights violations being committed by the SPDC, particularly against women from ethnic nationalities, the actions members of the international community take to address this issue becomes critical.

 

In order to address the needs of women survivors, to prevent further violations of women’s rights in Burma and to ensure that peace and democracy prevail in Burma, the following recommendations are made:

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

To the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC):

 

1.      To immediately instate a nationwide cease-fire, withdraw troops and decrease militarization in Karen State and all other occupied territories;

 

2.      To immediately instate Tripartite Dialogue with non-Burman ethnic representatives and the National League for Democracy (NLD) in order to reinstall democratic processes in Burma;

 

3.      To ratify the Geneva Convention Protocols, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and relevant human rights conventions, as a measure of reinstating human rights and democratic processes in Burma.

 

4.      To cease all human rights violations against women, happening on a widespread scale in the ethnic areas, including forced labor, forced relocations, torture, rape and other sexual violence committed by military personnel; and

 

5.      To fulfill its obligations under the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child by implementing national legislation in conformity with these conventions.

 

 

To States

 

1.      To press for a nationwide cease-fire and demilitarization and withdrawal of troops in ethnic nationalities areas in Burma;

 

2.      To press for Tripartite Dialogue, and insist that measurable progress towards democracy and national reconciliation is made;

 

3.      To press the SPDC to implement the resolutions passed by the Commission on Human Rights and to comply with the recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

 

To the United Nations

 

1.      UN agencies operating in Burma, to bear witness publicly to the atrocities committed by the SPDC; The public visibility of these violations is critical to ensuring accountability.

 

2.      UNHCR to prioritise processing women who have suffered sexual and gender based violence and support community-based organizations providing services for their recovery.

 

3.      UNCHR to pass a specific resolution condemning the sexual and gender based violations by the SPDC military of women in Burma and calling for redress.

 

To Royal Thai Government

 

1.      To continue to provide protection to Karen asylum seekers, refugees and persons of concern, by allowing them to cross the border and access refugee camps, humanitarian aid agencies and UNHCR.

 

2.      To not forcibly repatriate Karen refugees to Burma nor to engage in any discussions with regard to the repatriation of Karen refugees until there is genuine peace and democracy in Burma.

 

3.      To ensure the inclusion of ethnic nationality representatives and NLD representatives in all discussions held on all economic, political and State matters with the SPDC.

 

4.      To ensure survivors of rape and sexual violence, fleeing to Thailand have access to adequate physical and mental health support systems (e.g. torture and trauma counseling, safe abortion services, reproductive and maternity health care, safe houses);

 

 


INTRODUCTION

 

This report Shattering Silences has been compiled and produced by the Karen Women's Organization (KWO), with the collaboration of Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP), Karen Information Center (KIC), Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), and the Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department.

 

Rape and sexual assault against women is widely committed in the Karen, Karenni, and Shan states. Although this has been known about for many years and has been documented in a number of reports produced by a range of human rights organizations, it has been little acknowledged by the international community.  It was not until the release of Licence to Rape[3] produced by the Shan Women Action Network and Shan Human Rights Foundation in 2002 that the world community really began to take notice of the gross human rights violations which continue to be perpetrated against ethnic women in Burma.

 

While hundreds of Karen women have been raped by the SLORC/SPDC military it has only been possible to document 125 cases within one and half year in this report.  For despite the widespread and systematic rape of Karen women by the SLORC/SPDC military, very few rape cases in Karen State have been recorded or reported.  Military rape in Burma is a well-kept secret.  Karen women tend not to speak about such incidents, their communities do not speak about them, and the Burmese military keeps silent about its actions at international gatherings. 

 

There are no known cases where legal action has been taken against the perpetrators.

 

This report seeks to break the culture of silence about the rapes of Karen women, and bring to light the full nature of atrocities and human rights violations being committed by the SPDC against Karen women.

 


METHODOLOGY

 

The paucity of documentation of military rape cases of Karen women reflects not the lack of incidents but the difficulties in obtaining information about the incidents. For those not familiar with the current military environment in which many Karen people live under in Burma, it is useful to explain some of the reasons why documentation of these cases has been so difficult.

 

1.      Many Karen villages have continued to be displaced by the Burmese military regime since 1975. Hundreds of women have been raped and killed, particularly during the period 1975-1985 when the regime was actively implementing its ‘Four-Cuts Policy’[4].  The aggressive and continuous offensives by the military have made it impossible for Karen groups to keep records of all the incidences of human rights violations.

 

2.      Many of the women who have been raped live in areas controlled by the SLORC/SPDC military. Their movements and activities are under close surveillance. Therefore they are unable to speak out for themselves. Many of the women fear repercussions by the military, against themselves or their families if they do speak out.

 

3.      Women do not want to be reminded of their painful and unpleasant experiences of rape.  It cannot be underestimated the extent to which women want to avoid re-living their experience of rape each time they tell their story.  Therefore it is important for researchers wanting to address these issues to use the stories in this report, rather than asking women to re-tell their stories.

 

4.      It is very unusual for women who have suffered from rape and other sexual violations to reveal what they have been through because according to the customs and traditions among ethnic groups in Burma rape is a shameful thing to have gone through. Women are afraid of being looked down on or being belittled by the men in their communities if they talk about their experience. 

 

To overcome these difficulties, a variety of methods were used to collect these reports. Some of the cases were documented by KWO, from witnesses or survivors in Burma, while others were obtained from Karen men and women staying in refugee camps along the Thai Burma border. The 125 cases documented in this report were collated over the period October 2002 to March 2004. These cases are listed in Annex A.  Information about most cases was received from witnesses, however 10 of the documented cases were recorded directly from the survivors. In this report 35, of the 125 cases are documented in detail in the final section of the report. Of these, 13 were documented by the Karen Human Rights Centre, 15 were documented by the Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and the rest by Tavoy Branch of the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People. The cases documented by KWO were initially reported to them through the Karen Information Centre (KIC).  Once the report had been received a member of KWO traveled to the village in Burma in order to interview the survivor or witness with the assistance of regional staff.

 

 

RAPE - A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION[5]

 

In the most recent agreement on international humanitarian law, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court  (ICC), rape is defined in the context of crimes against humanity in Article 7 (1) (g)-1, as:

 

“1. The perpetrator invaded the body of a person by conduct resulting in penetration, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body.

 

2. The invasion was committed by force, or by threat of force or coercion, such as that caused by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or abuse of power, against such person or another person, or by taking advantage of a coercive environment, or the invasion was committed against a person incapable of giving genuine consent.

 

3. The conduct was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

 

4. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.”

 

The ICC has meant that now at both international and national levels, rape has been recognised as a crime in conflict situations. However, due to the limited knowledge of women's human rights among Karen organisations, rape and other forms of human rights violations have not been seriously addressed or comprehensively documented.  Where Karen men have documented human rights violations, sexual violence was generally not covered as an issue.

 

In documenting these cases, care has been taken to also identify the form of sexual violence and the specific human rights violations committed in each case. Many of the incidents of rape were committed in conjunction with other human rights violations such as forced labour, denial of food, water and shelter, and denial of legal redress. Thus the cases are also a record of other forms of human rights violations committed against Karen women.[6]

Locating these incidences within a human rights framework is an important aspect of illustrating the State’s culpability in these acts.  The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993, outlines in Article 4 (c) that States should "exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private persons". The Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women further noted that States are required to ensure equal protection of the law for their citizens.  So if there is evidence of systematic, discriminatory, non-prosecution by the State of crimes of violence against women, then, States arguably have violated their responsibility under international human rights law.[7]

 Over the years, it has become apparent that women’s experiences of human rights violations need to be acknowledged and redressed. When such violations are allowed to go unchecked, the perpetrators are able to continue committing rape and other human rights violations with impunity. It is important that the silence around this issue not be seen as an acceptance of these acts but women and the international community condemn these acts. Thus it is important for the international community to realise the extent to which the SPDC is culpable for the systematic military rapes being committed on Karen women.


HISTORY OF THE KAREN PEOPLE

 

Once upon a time, an old man arrived at an island where there were no other men. He hung his shirt on a fishing pole and planted it on the island as a mark of his discovery. He called the place 'Taku (which is now known as Rangoon). That is how the Karen people came to live in the country called Burma. (Legend of the Karen People).

 

Within Burma, the Karen people live spread across from Irrawaddy, Pegu and Rangoon, down to the Tenasserim Divisions.  There are also large numbers of Karen people living in Mon, Karenni, and Karen States. [See Map]. According to the 1947 census, Burma had a total population of 24 million, of which the Karen population was a little over 5 million.

 

Even though the Karen people are known for converting to Christianity, the majority of Karen are still Buddhists and animists.  They work primarily as subsistence swidden farmers in the hills and deep forests, as wet-rice cultivators in the plains, and some work as specialized cash-crop producers.  Today, many Karen people also work as salary workers, functionaries and business people living in towns and cities.[8]  

 

The Karen people's struggle for freedom, peace and justice in Burma began at the same time as when Burma attained independence from Britain in 1948. After the first military coup in 1962, many Karen schools were closed down and social and cultural activities were taken over by the military regime, under the lead of Ne Win.  The infamous "Four Cuts Policy” was introduced in 1970, first in the Irrawaddy Delta Region and then in the Pegu Yoma Range Region. By the end of 1974, the "Four Cuts Policy” had been introduced throughout the Eastern Regions all the way to Karen State and Mergui/Tavoy District (Tanasserim Division).

The Four Cuts Policy aims to cut access and supplies of food, funds, recruits and information to insurgent groups by systematically terrorizing the civilian population in ethnic national areas. In the "brown areas,"[9] forced relocation and forced labor are common practices. However, in the "black areas," which are also called “free-fire zones", the military troops shoot on sight at anything or any person seen. In addition they systematically extort or destroy villages, crops, livestock, churches, schools, houses, cash, valuables and rice fields. Some other common practices of the Four Cuts Policy include detention, torture and execution; forced labor; forced relocation to sites and villages directly under the control of the Burmese military troops; and systematic rape and other forms of violence against women.

The Four Cuts Policy heralded the beginning of massive forced relocations of Karen communities, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of Karen people being internally displaced.[10]Due to the high level of terrorisation of communities and destruction of their properties during these forced relocations it has not been possible to collate accurate figures of the number of internally displaced persons.  However, according to the 1974 military government census the Karen population had decreased from 5 million to 3.2 million, while Burma’s total population had increased from 24 million to 33 million.  After the 1988 mass uprising, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the new military junta took over power in September 1988. The SLORC increased its military strength and raised the momentum of war against the ethnic minorities. According to the SLORC's 1990 census, Burma's population had increased to 44 million while the Karen population had decreased further to 2.9 million. 

 

In Burma, the Karen people, like many other ethnic nationalities, are under severe repression because of their ethnicity.  The military's massive attacks on the Karen resistance movement within which Karen civilians were directly targeted, lead to wholesale and systematic destruction of villages.  Many Karen people were subjected to forced labour, arbitrary arrests and killings, and sexual violence.  This has led to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Karen fleeing and living either in Burma's forests or as refugees in Thailand.[11]  

 

The aspirations of the Karen people were originally expressed by the Karen people in 1948 when the entire Karen population demonstrated for ethnic equality and the right to self-determination. The same desire has since taken the form of a national struggle, led by the Karen National Union. The Karen Women's Organization, as part of this ongoing struggle, continues to hope and work for democracy, peace and justice in a Federal Union of Burma, in which the Karen people and all other ethnic nationalities can coexist in harmony and equality. 

 


FINDINGS

 

Introduction

 

The cases presented in this report demonstrate all too clearly the way in which the rape of Karen women and girls is being used as a strategy by the Burmese SLORC/SPDC military to intimidate and control the Karen people inside Burma. This reports documents 125 cases of rape and other human rights violations which Karen women have experienced in Burma. These cases span the period from 1988 to 2004. Some cases involve one woman others involve groups of women and girls. These women’s stories recount attacks which are deeply disturbing in their horror and brutality. Years after the rapes have occurred the stories of the women tell of the ongoing pain and anger at the brutality of these shattering attacks. Many women of courage have come forward to tell their stories for this report and yet their experiences represent only a small proportion of the many hundreds of other Karen women inside Burma who have experienced rape by Burmese military soldiers.  The difficult circumstances imposed by the civil war and the traditions and customs of Karen communities which encourage women to remain silent about rape continue to make the documentation of these human rights violations extremely difficult.

 

 

Rape as a Political Strategy

 

“ I was raped by the column commander Captain Ye Htut first,

then he ordered his soldiers to rape me.”[12]

 

Historically, under international law, rape of women in armed conflict has not been regarded as a crime in the same way as other strategies used in conflicts. Under the 1949 Geneva Convention, rape was prohibited, but only in terms of being “ an attack on their honour”. However, now it is recognised, that sexual violence against enemy women is much more than a dishonourable act. “It is part of the punishment, intimidation and terrorization of a political, religious or ethnic minority, a means for a military strategy, or State policy: …” [13]

 

Rape is now understood as an act of sexual torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, particularly where the aim of the torture has been to “destroy the personality of the victim and at the same time set an example for the community by creating a culture of fear that intimidates and terrorises”[14].  Further in the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court, it has been recognised as a war crime, and crime against humanity.

 

As these cases show, rape is not simply an act of immorality between two individuals. Rather, rape is used as a political strategy by the State military regime to control ethnic nationality communities such as the Karen. This is evidenced by cases where SLORC/SPDC military commanders encouraged their private soldiers to rape Karen women and often initiated such events by sexually harassing Karen women in the villages. 

 

“After she arrived back home she told her husband and her father-in-law that about 20 Burmese soldiers at Pah Klaw Hta SPDC troops' camp raped her. She said, “ I was raped by the column commander Captain Ye Htut first, then he ordered his soldiers to rape me.” Captain Ye Htut also said to his soldiers, “ You all must rape that woman, those who refuse to rape will be shot and killed.” [15]

 

 In other cases, women were targeted inside their homes; sometimes their husbands were present but most often they were away working as porters for the military. In many cases women were accused of either being supporters of the KNU or having family members who were active with the KNU.  Seven of the 35 fully documented cases included in this report recount experiences of rape in women’s homes, including the case of Naw Bway Paw who was eight months pregnant when she was gang raped by eight soldiers in her home.

 

“On 15 May in 1999 at 12 noon, 8 of the soldiers of SPDC troops LIB (210) led by Battalion Commander Maung Maung Ohn came back from the battle field fighting in the village of Kyong Doe, Koe Kyoung, and Noe Taw Pla. They came back with the wounded soldiers and when they arrived at the house of Naw Bway Paw, they went into her house and tied up her husband with rope in three parts of his body, at his neck, his body and his leg. And 8 of the SPDC soldiers raped her. She was gang raped.”[16]

 

There are also numerous cases of women engaged as porters themselves, being raped while working, or being taken along as “comfort women” during work routines.   In ten of the 35 fully documented cases included in this report, women recounted experiences of being abducted from their villages and forced to work as porters. In some cases women were able to escape within a few weeks but in others they were enslaved for periods of up to three years. All of them were routinely raped almost every night by one soldier or by groups of soldiers.

 

“While she was living in her village she was captured as the porter to carry shells for the SPDC. At daytime she was forced to carry heavy things and at night she was raped………… She was raped every night by from one to 5 persons. If she refused or asked them not to rape her, then they slapped her or beat her or closed her mouth. So when she was raped by many of them as gang raped she was unconscious sometimes. At that time they jumped on her body with their boots. While she was being raped at night she heard women shouting from other places. And so she knew there were many women suffering like her.”[17]

 

 As already stated in Licence to Rape, and supported by the cases documented here the widespread and systematic nature of military rape in Burma illustrates the extent to which rape is a State policy.

 

Climate of Impunity

 

Karen women rarely report crimes of military rape to the authorities or higher military officers because of the fear of retribution against them or their families.  The only option Karen women have is to avoid the SPDC soldiers as much as possible. Ma Pyu Pyu’s story is one of many in this report which highlights the community’s fear of reporting incidents of rape. 

 

Ma Pyu Pyu was held and raped by a Burmese border guard at a Burmese military checkpoint as she returned from working in Thailand.

 

“After raping her, Lt Thein Myint Zaw took away 10,000 Thai baht from her. The next day on the 21st of January 2001, Thein Myint Zaw gave her 1,000 baht for her travelling expenditure and set her free. No one took any action for her because they were afraid of the SPDC troops.”[18]

In the majority of documented cases where women and their families have reported cases of rape, there has generally been no action taken.

 

“The next day I went with the village chief to their place and told them what happened to me. But they didn't take any action; instead they told me not to tell other people. I was afraid of them after I was raped because I got pain and shock which I had never faced in my life.”[19]

 

 

In many of these cases after the report was made the women were threatened by the military commanders and told not to speak of the rapes to anyone.

 

“When they went to the Commander of the troops and told what happened to her, instead of taking action, the Commander told her not to tell anybody about it otherwise she would be punished.”[20]

 

 In those few cases where some action had been taken by military commanders or unit heads, this has generally involved no form of punishment. In one of the reported rape cases the SLORC sent their team of medics to provide the woman with medicine to prevent pregnancy.[21] In another the SPDC troops visited the woman’s house and provided her with bags of rice and tins of beans. Although they promised to take further action, it is not known whether this occurred.[22] In only one of the documented cases was the perpetrator punished however the punishment meted out was to say the least nominal! The soldier who had committed the rape was required to carry a log once around the camp.

 

“I went to his commander Myint Shwe Htoo to report it and told him how terrible I felt, and he told me I could do whatever I liked, so I left. He made the soldier carry a log around the camp just once as punishment.”[23]

 

According to cases documented by, the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) in cases where the commanders themselves participate in such crimes of violence, the lower-ranking offenders are almost never disciplined. 

 

In at least a third of the cases documented here the rapes were committed by commanders and other high ranking officers. In a number of cases once the officers had finished raping the women they then passed them onto the lower ranking soldiers who then raped them again. As a result of the lack of legal redress and punishment of perpetrators, the Burmese soldiers continue to attack Karen women, with impunity and without fear of any consequences.    

 

Stigmatisation by community

 

“Sexual torture harms women’s bodies and minds. It controls and stigmatizes them socially, impairs their sexual identities and in the worst cases turns them into living dead.  Further, because women play a crucial role in caring for the family, her physical and psychological suffering affects not only herself but her entire family”.[24]

 

Most of the survivors interviewed in these cases live like people without a future.  In addition to the trauma they suffer, many also face the stigmatisation in the community. For many there is no pleasure in living. Sexual assault violates the most intimate parts of a woman’s body and identity, resulting in survivors often carrying the humiliation, shame and fear for the rest of their lives. In many of the cases documented here, women speak of their deep feelings of shame, of their fears that their husbands will blame them and of their thoughts of suicide. Nan Bway Poung returned to her village after being gang raped by 20 Burmese soldiers, unable to contemplate life after these rapes she suicided.

 

 

Nan Bway Poung was very ashamed and said, “ I am not willing to live in this world anymore.”  Then before anybody noticed, she drank poison and committed suicide the same evening she arrived back.”[25]

                            

In other cases women’s husbands reacted in anger to their wives experiences of rape and rather than directing this anger towards the perpetrators they instead blamed their wives. In some cases women were verbally abused in others they were beaten and rejected by their husbands. 

 

“When her husband came back again she told her husband what had happened to her. But her husband hit her, scolded her and told her to get out from the house. The result was that her husband divorced her and her child also died. In the end, she stayed with some of her friends sometimes and relatives as well. Her friends said that she had a mental problem after being raped and going around the village.”[26]

 

Such consequences have been found to occur not only in Burma, but other situations of armed conflict as well.

 

 “Sexual attacks are in most communities perceived as shameful and the victim is stigmatized.  She may be unable to marry or stay in a marriage if it is known that she has been abused…[sometimes]… she is perceived as the culprit that should be punished.”[27]

 

It is clear from the many stories documented here that the SLORC/SPDC forces understand and manipulate communities’ perceptions of rape and sexual assault as shameful.  It is these perceptions which all too often act to keep women silent about these violations of their human rights but also serve to destroy the bonds of family and community.

 

“He just kept threatening that he’d give me to his men who’d rape me to death, waving his knife and demanding sex. I kept fighting but he tied up my other hand, and then he pushed me down and raped me. I warned him I must tell the Church but he ordered me not to.     When he was finished he asked me, “Are you satisfied?” All I could tell him was that my life was now nothing but darkness. He just said, “If you’re so troubled and ashamed, go hang yourself.”

 

Many rape survivors face blame and rejection from their own families and communities, and are often stigmatized for many years after the rapes have occurred. In their speaking out against the SLORC/SPDC soldiers and commanders who have raped them, the women of courage who have shared their stories have shattered the silences behind which their rapists have hidden. The shame was and is not the women’s to bear but lies instead with every soldier and commander who has raped Karen women and girls and with the Burmese military regime who continues to allow these gross violations of women’s human rights to continue with impunity.

 

 

 Forced Pregnancy and abortion

 

“Nobody could want such a baby.”

 

In many of the documented cases women describe their terror of pregnancy as a result of the rapes they have experienced. It is well known that forced pregnancy is one of the strategies adopted by the SLORC/SPDC as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing. In each of the many cases where pregnancy was the result of rape the women have sought the assistance of their mothers or other community members in order to abort the babies of rape.

“Many women came back pregnant, and then their mothers had to get medicine to get rid of the baby. Nobody could want such a baby.”[28]

 

In some of the documented cases the women have become ill as a consequence of these abortions. Although none of the stories here document deaths due to unsafe abortions, it is well known among health providers working on the Thai Burma border that the lack of access to safe abortion is one of the major risk factors for Burmese women.

 

“Then when we got home many of us were pregnant. I was pregnant myself. We all had to get medicine to get rid of the baby. Now I’m in debt 1,000 Kyat for medicine. One of my friends who came back pregnant got rid of the baby too, and she’s been very sick and thin ever since. She’s still very sick.”[29]

 

Climate of fear

 

Many of the stories highlight the ongoing climate of fear which the widespread rape and associated violence have created. Women of all ages describe past incidents of sexual assault and the constant fear and sense of vulnerability it generates among Karen women.  In all the documented cases women were threatened with knives or guns prior to being raped or abducted as porters. In some cases women were raped while guns and knives were held to their throats or faces. Women were threatened that they would be killed if they fought back or cried out for assistance.

 

“Then he put his rifle barrel against my face - it felt so cold and made me so afraid I can’t tell you. He put the barrel against my chest and pushed me down again. He grabbed my throat and said, “If you shout I’ll choke you!” and tried to slap me but I turned my face away. So he took his gun and held it against one side of my face, and pulled out his knife and held it against the other side, and said, “If you fight or cry or shout, I’ll kill you.”[30]

In some of the documented cases women were raped and then brutally murdered.

 

“The Lt. Col. Zaw Lwin from No.2 Column, Battalion Commander of Infantry, Battalion 17 raped the two Karen women, Naw Eh Thee and Naw Way Way between Pawat Htein and Pawat Peindaw village in Tenasserim Township. Both of their bodies were found naked and with wounds from bayonet stabbing. They were seen by the villagers.”

 

 

This climate of fear has forced many women to flee their homes and villages and to seek safety in other parts of the country or in the refugee camps in Thailand.

 

“There were also other women who have faced the same problems as me but we didn't dare to find out each other's problems. When I arrived home I told my family and the village head about what happened to me. They all suggested to me to leave this village and go to Kaw Thoo Lei area, and so early in the next day, I left my village and came to Mar Ner Plaw. Since then I've been back to my village once, but just only for a while and I came back and never go back again.”[31]

 

Many women have left their homes and are now living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.  But often the conditions are not necessarily any better. 

 

There are at least 300,000 internally displaced Karen people, who come primarily from the eastern and southern region of Karen State.  Women are one of the most vulnerable groups of internally displaced women, as they are vulnerable to military rape and sexual violence.

 

Forced Labour and other human rights violations

 

Many of the cases documented here detail women’s experiences of being abducted from their villages and being forced to work as porters for the military. The women describe being forced to carry heavy loads, often beyond their physical capacity, being beaten if they were too ill to work or too tired to continue.

 

“The soldiers are very bad people - they’re always pushing us and shouting at us. And when we were sick, we still had to carry. When I couldn’t carry they hit me with a gun or a stick in the back, or with their boots. When I wanted to rest they slapped me. There were nine of us, and they did the same to us all.”[32]

 

They were forced to work all day often without being given food or water. If food was provided to them it was often rotten and usually consisted of no more than a little rice. Water was usually only available to the porters if they were given the task of collecting it for the soldiers and were able to steal a few mouthfuls from the soldiers’ water bottles.

 

“When we were on the mountains we got no water. We never got to bathe until we got to the frontline, and then we had to walk 2 hours down the mountain and 2 hours back up to carry water for the soldiers every day. When we got to the frontline and put down our loads they made us stay there but gave us no more food. There was a rice field there, and if we wanted to eat we had to pick the rice off the stalk and peel it with our teeth until we filled a little milk tin, and then cook it.”[33]

 

The porters were forced to sleep on the ground at night, without blankets or any form of shelter.

 

“At night we all had to sleep on the ground, like dogs or pigs. At night - it was terrible. The soldiers raped me. They pointed a gun, and forced us to follow them. I can’t describe it to you. I can’t talk about it.”[34]

 

 

They were no sanitary facilities and a number of women speak of the enormous sense of humiliation they felt when soldiers refused to allow them to urinate in private. Instead they were often forced to urinate where they slept.

 

“They made us sleep on the ground in the camp, but the mosquitoes usually kept us awake. We could only go to the latrine once in the early morning or once after work in the evening, and we had to urinate where we slept.”[35]

 

Many became ill due to the appalling conditions and the lack of food, clean water and medicine.

 

Mental Health

 

The rape and sexual violence experienced by the Karen women have had profound effects on their mental, physical and emotional well being. They face rejection and stigmatization by their families and communities. They lack both access to legal redress for the crimes, and to crisis and health support.  Many of the stories document the anguish and intense mental trauma which the women who have survived rape live with everyday.

 

“I want to see the causer of my suffering tried and brought to me and I want to kill him myself.  Because my husband did not understand me and I have a mental disorder since then. Now my pain does not cease. If there is any one who will help me I will be glad and thank them so that I can take revenge on him.”[36]

 

Conclusion

 

The stories documented here provide clear evidence of the systematic use of rape as a strategy of war to oppress the Karen people in Burma. Due to the difficulty in obtaining information in Burma the scale of this systematic oppression has remained hidden from the international community. However the stories included in this report bear testimony to the war which the military regime continues to rage in an aggressive and deliberate manner against the Karen and other ethnic groups. For the Karen women they are doubly oppressed as they are targeted on both the grounds of their ethnicity and their gender.

 

The ongoing civil war is the root cause of all the human rights violations. The use of forced labour and the forced relocation of villages have impacted most severely on women, children and the elderly. Entire communities have been uprooted, leaving women particularly vulnerable to rape and murder. Many of the men have fled from the villages or have been killed in the civil war leaving the women at risk of being forced to work as porters and as labourers for the military. This breakdown of community has only increased women’s vulnerability to rape and sexual exploitation. As stated in Licence to Rape, women are increasingly targeted and raped by the SPDC soldiers due to the increased militarization and anti-insurgency measures of the Burmese regime.   

 


DETAILED CASES

Note: Names have been changed to avoid reprisals.

 

(1) Naw Chit Chit’s Story

Naw Chit Chit is a Karen, Buddhist woman from Azin village in Section 3 of the Doplaya district. On the 10th of February 1988 an SPDC soldier came to her house, held a knife to her throat and raped her repeatedly. She was a 27 year old married woman with one child at the time of the attack.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and threats of violence

 

Perpetrators – An SLORC Soldier belonging to LID 44 led by Major Ohn Myint

 

Consequences- Severe mental trauma and rejection by husband

 

“……took out his knife and told her not to shout if

she didn't want to die. And he raped her many times…”

 

Story teller: Daw Peh, one of Naw Chit Chit’s fellow villagers.

 

Naw Chit Chit was a married woman with one child. Her parents died when she was a child. She stayed with her relatives before she got married, going around house by house. One day when her husband was away, one of the SLORC soldiers from LID (44) led by Major Ohn Myint came to her house and took out his knife and told her not to shout if she didn't want to die. And he raped her many times. In the morning Naw Chit Chit told her friend what happened to her at night.

 

When her husband came back again she told her husband what had happened to her. But her husband hit her, scolded her and told her to get out from the house. The result was that her husband divorced her and her child also died. In the end, she stayed with some of her friends sometimes and relatives as well. Her friends said that she had a mental problem after being raped and going around the village. No action was taken for her.


(2) Naw Lah Lah’s Story

Naw Lah Lah is a Karen, Christian woman from Ter Heh Pwey village, Mutraw Township in the Papon district. On the 12th of June 1991 she was stabbed in the chest and raped by an SLORC soldier. She’s  a 44 year old married woman with one child at the time of the attack.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape, Attempted killing and Forced Labour.

 

Perpetrators – Ba Gyi from SLORC troops Light Infantry Battalion 60 led by Captain Soe Win

 

Consequences- Forced to flee from village and community

 

“…..They demanded the villagers to bring them women and when they arrived they raped them ….”

 

I have one daughter and two sons. I am a farmer. When I was in my village, the Burmese soldiers came to my village every week. They demanded alcohol, chicken and other food as well. Every time they demanded foods that would cost 2,000(kyat). When they entered our village, they tried to find out the villagers to blame about the relationship between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the villagers. They always accused the villagers of helping and supporting KNU.

 

 The soldiers always demanded the villagers to work for them such as digging tunnels, cutting the bamboo to build huts, constructing fences, carrying water, cooking, washing clothes and doing sentry duty. We had to work day and night as well. The soldiers didn't separate the work between men and women, 20 people had to go at a time. At least 15 people had to go whether they wanted to go or not.

 

 The soldiers commanded the villagers to work every three months and every time we had to work for 15 days. They didn't give us food or water. They told us to start working at 7:30 am until 5:00 pm. The soldiers who we worked for were the SLORC troops from LIB 60 and the Captain was Soe Win.

 

There was often fighting between the KNU and SLORC  soldiers in our village. The SLORC soldiers accused us that we were helping the KNU all the time. The SLORC drank alcohol and stayed in their camp and demanded our villagers to go and work for them. They hate our Karen villagers and they tortured us. They stabbed our headman in his chest. They said that because of our villages the KNU soldiers always came in. At night, they told the head chief of our village to bring them alcohol and food that they needed.

 

It also happened with me when I was in the village. Because I had to work the whole day so at night, I took a rest and slept peacefully. When I was in deep sleep, one of my friends who was asked by the military to wake me up and sent me to one of the soldier's huts. When I arrived there a soldier tied my hands behind and he stabbed my chest. I tried to push him away but I cannot. I dared not say anything and then he raped me.  I also heard other women screaming. After he raped me he let me go back.  There were also other women who have faced the same problems as me but we did not dare to find out each other's problems.

 

When I arrived home I told my family and the village head about what happened to me. They all suggested to me to leave this village and go to Kaw Thoo Lei area, and so early in the next day, I left my village and came to Mar Ner Plaw. Since then I've been back to my village once, but just only for a while and I came back and never go back again.

 

(3) Daw Khin Aye’s Story

Daw Khin Aye is an Arakanese, Buddhist woman from a village, in Kyaito Township in the Thaton district. On the 24th of January 1992 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter; she was raped frequently during this time. She was a 32 year old married woman with five children at the time of the attack.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang Rape and Forced Labour (Porter).

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers from the Light Infantry Battalion 1.

 

“…..was raped very badly every night and was too small in body to carry her load. She cried all the time without stopping....”

 

          I was in the forest near the local monastery collecting firewood with Naw Paw Eh when 10 SLORC soldiers came to us. They ordered us to go with them to help them for a day. Along the way they told me I would be freed in exchange for a male porter at the monastery. But they took us to Byu Ha military compound instead, and we had to spend the night there. There were many porters there, both men and women. The next morning we all had to go with the soldiers. They made me carry four heavy 81mm. mortar bombs. I had to carry bombs for 21 days through the forest and over mountains, into the areas where they’re fighting the Karen soldiers. It was almost impossible to keep up because the load was so heavy and we got almost no food. If we were lucky, once a day we got a little rice, but nothing to eat with it. The rice was usually rotten, and if we passed a stream many porters would try to rinse their rice in the water so it wouldn’t smell so bad and they could eat it. But some days we got no food at all, and when we went over mountains there was no water for us.

At night the soldiers made us all sleep together on the ground, the women in one place and the men in another. We only had the clothes we wore when we got arrested and there were no blankets, so it was very cold. All night long the soldiers would come and drag women away to be raped. They took turns and women were often raped by several soldiers in one night. I was raped frequently like the others. While I was being raped or trying to sleep I could hear the screams of other women all around. This went on all night, and then in the morning they’d make us carry our loads over mountains again. I felt especially sorry for Naw Paw Eh, who was raped very badly every night and was too small in body to carry her load. She cried all the time without stopping. I wished I could help her but there was nothing I could do. I could barely carry my own load.

 

After 21 days of this I just couldn’t take it any more. I no longer cared if I lived or died; I just wanted to escape. The SLORC soldiers were never going to let us go. So early in the morning while it was still dark and the soldiers were busy waking up and packing to leave, I called Naw Paw Eh to come with me. “Where are you going?” she asked, too loudly because she was still half-asleep and didn’t understand. I told her just to follow me, and we made it look like we were going to the toilet. Two other women joined us, and when we got into the trees we ran away. We travelled through the forest all day without knowing where we were going. When it got dark and we didn’t know which way to go, we followed a stream. We came to the Mae Seit riverbank, and luckily some Karen soldiers found us and took care of us.

                                                        

(4) Daw Win Hla’s Story

Daw Win Hla is a Karen, Buddhist woman from a village, in Kyaito Township in the Thaton district. On the 24th of January 1992 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter; she was raped every night by the soldiers during this time. She was a 42 year old married woman with six children at the time of the attack.

Human Rights Violations – Rape and Forced Labour (Porter).

 

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers from the Light Infantry Battalion 1.

 

“……They made us carry our loads over high mountains all day, and then every night I was raped along with the other women …”

 

          While I was cooking a group of SLORC soldiers came to my house and forced me to go along with them to Byu Ha military camp. At the camp they made me join a group of over 100 porters, including 40 women aged from 15 to 50. The soldiers gave me 81 mm mortar bombs to carry, the same load as they gave many of the male porters. They made us carry our loads over high mountains all day, and then every night I was raped along with the other women. It was very hard for us to keep carrying our loads in these conditions. All we got to eat was a bit of rotten bad-smelling rice, and we didn’t even get that regularly. For instance, one night in the forest when the birds were singing the soldiers said it was the enemy’s signal, so cooking would be too dangerous. So we had to go hungry.

 

After 9 days I ran away with 3 other women, but the soldiers captured us in our hiding place. They were very angry, and they pointed their guns at us and shouted that if we ever tried to escape again they would kill us.

 

Along the way the SLORC soldiers were completely destroying the villages we came to. I saw them steal paddy from the villagers and burn down their houses and paddy barns. I also saw them steal an elephant from one villager, and they killed many village animals for food, but we never got any of it.

 

All of us only had the clothes on our backs, which quickly got torn and dirty, so it was very cold and uncomfortable. One day it rained and we all got soaking wet, which made it even worse that night. We were all very weak, and many men and women were ill with chills and fever, but the hurt and sick were still forced to carry their loads and keep up, even if they had to be dragged. There was one twenty year old Karen boy from Ma Kyi Hta village who got a bowel disorder. He was very weak and always vomiting but the soldiers still forced him to keep up. When we were climbing Taung Ni, a very high mountain, he couldn’t go on and begged and pleaded with the soldiers to be let go. But the soldiers said he had to come. They forced the rest of us to keep climbing and the Karen boy fell behind. We never saw him after that, so I don’t know what they did with him.

 

Another 45-year-old man showed me a large unhealed gash on the front of his left thigh, and wounds on both sides of his head. He said he’d run away during some fighting but the soldiers had caught him. They cut his leg and beat him on the head. When he told me this he was very weak, but they were still making him carry big heavy rockets.

 

When it was still dark one morning I heard Daw Khin Aye say she was going into the forest. I thought she was going to escape so I went with her. The four of us didn’t know which way to go and walked all day in the forest. After dark, we followed a river until we heard someone shouting, “Daw bway! Daw bway!” [In Karen – “Sister! Sister!”]. When I first heard the voices I was very afraid, but when it turned out they were Karen soldiers and they were kind to us I was very happy.

 

 (5) Khin Khin Lay’s Story

Khin Khin Lay is an Arakanese, Buddhist woman from a village, who worked as a flower seller in Kyaito Township in the Thaton district. On the 24th of January 1992 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter, she was gang raped almost every night by the soldiers during this time. She a 20 year old  married woman with two children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang Rape and Forced Labour (Porter).

 

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers from the Light Infantry Battalion 1.

 

“……even women who somehow survive being porters will still have to suffer by finding out they’re pregnant afterwards….”

 

Some SLORC soldiers came to our house and said my sister and I would have to go with them. We refused, but they forced us at gunpoint. On the way to Byu Ha military camp they raped both of us. When we arrived at the camp they put us together with a group of porters. We saw about 200 porters at the camp, 80 of who were women. Some of the women looked 50 or 60 years old. The next morning we had to set off as porters for the soldiers. I had to carry four 84 mm rockets.

 

I was not used to climbing mountains and it was very hard for me. The soldiers would never let us rest, and we never got any water when we went over mountains. The soldiers kept their water bottles to themselves and said they couldn’t spare any for us. If the soldiers were thirsty, they’d send some male porters all the way down the mountain for water. Then they’d refill their bottles, and if we were lucky there might be enough left to give us each one little sip.

 

We had no blankets or medicine and the nights were very cold, so many people got sick. At night we tried to sleep all together, but the women had to sleep wherever the soldiers dragged us. One officer, the soldiers all addressed as “Ba Gyi” came and took away the same young Indian girl every night. Because of my youth, I was terrified every night so I always tried to hide among the elderly women. But even so, my turn usually came not long after the Indian girl. Most of the women were gang raped, one after another, all night long. Even my sister, 6 months pregnant, was not left alone. Then every morning we had to haul our loads again.

 

Compared to the danger I was in every day, the danger in trying to escape didn’t seem to matter. So when I thought the other women were going to run away, I went with them. Now the Karen people are taking good care of us; but I’m still sad and afraid, because I think of all the women who haven’t escaped. And I think that even women who somehow survive being porters will still have to suffer by finding out they’re pregnant afterwards.

 

(6) Naw Paw Eh’s Story

 

Naw Paw Eh is a Karen, Buddhist woman from a village in Kyaito township in the Thaton district. She was abducted by the Burmese military to work as a porter on the 24th January, 1992. She was gang raped every night. She was 17 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Gang Rape and Forced Labour (Porter)..

 

Perpetrators – The Burmese Military – Light Infantry Battalion No.1

 

“...You could always hear women’s screams at night, if they were strong enough to scream…”

 

I was with Daw Khin Aye collecting firewood near our village when a group of soldiers came and ordered us to go with them. They took us to Byu Ha military camp, where we joined a group of at least 100 porters, including 40 women. We left the next morning for a long march over the mountains, and I had to carry four heavy 81mm mortar bombs, even though I am very small. They were so heavy I almost couldn’t hold them on my back, but the soldiers made me carry them over high mountains.

 

We had no blankets and only the clothes we were arrested in, so it was very cold at night and easy to get sick. But I didn’t have much time to think about the cold, because the soldiers always came for me at night. Because I am young and single, they all wanted to rape me and every night I got raped worse than most of the others. An officer who the soldiers all called “Ba Gyi” always came for me. He also raped a young Indian girl very often. All night long, the soldiers would gang rape all of us one after another. You could always hear women’s screams at night, if they were strong enough to scream. Then in the morning they made me carry the bombs again.

 

This went on day after day, and I just couldn’t bear it any longer. The other women said they pitied me but there was nothing they could do to help. They had their own loads to carry. I was so hungry and thirsty, tired and weak from carrying bombs and being raped that I was crying all the time. I never stopped crying and I was too weak to climb the mountains, and when the soldiers saw this they kept shouting at me and waving their guns, and this just frightened me and made me cry even more.

 

Finally, very early one morning Daw  Khin Aye called me to go with her. I didn’t understand and I asked her where she was going, but she said to just follow her and not ask questions. We ran away but we didn’t know where we were, so we travelled in the forest all day, and the next night we found some Karen soldiers who took care of us. They pitied me because I looked so weak and gave me a warm jacket, which I still have.

                                               

(7) Naw Aye Mya’s Story

 

Naw Aye Mya is a Karen, Buddhist woman who worked as a farmer in Htee Pa Nar Village in Shwegun township in the Thaton district. She was gang raped along with all the women in her village by the Burmese military on the 24th January 1992. She was a 32 year old married woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang Rape and robbery

 

Perpetrators – The Burmese Military – SLORC Soldiers

 

Consequences – Soldiers stayed in village for one week, many women were raped again.

 

“……Then they searched her clothes for anything valuable, and took turns raping her. Not one woman was spared, whether young, old, married or unmarried…”

 

A large group of SLORC soldiers came to Htee Pa Nar village. The men had gone, and we women and children were very afraid. So we all crossed the Mae Seit River to the monastery on the west side, and we hid in a large trench the monks have there. The soldiers left but we stayed where we were in case they came from west of the Mae Seit River. We could see them ransacking our deserted village, picking up any valuables they saw and looking for us. Then they came to the monastery and looked all around until they found us. They called us all out of our hiding place and gathered us together. They accused us all of being the wives, children, and relatives of rebels, and of helping the rebel forces.

 

Some of the soldiers went down into the trench where we’d been hiding. They started calling all the women, one by one, down into the trench with them. When each woman went down there, they would accuse her of hiding money and gold in her clothes and force her to strip. Then they searched her clothes for anything valuable, and took turns raping her. Not one woman was spared, whether young, old, married or unmarried. Even though I was holding my baby son at the time, when my turn came, I had to go into the trench like the others and was raped or the soldiers would have killed me. In this way, every woman in the village was gang raped. Only when all the soldiers were finished with you, were you allowed to get dressed and leave the trench. Then they would call the next woman in.

         

I can remember the names of some of the women who were raped. Along with myself, Naw Aye Mya , I can remember Naw Moo Dah, Ma Pyo, Ma Kyi Thaung, Ma Than Sein, Naw Che Che, Naw Lay Paw, and Naw Bae Paw. But there were also many others.

         

The SLORC soldiers stayed in our village for a week. They wouldn’t let us leave. During that week many women were raped again and again. The soldiers murdered a village man, Pah Ngwe Kawt, in front of all of us.

 

 

(8) Naw Tha Shee’s Story

 

Naw Tha Shee is a Karen, Animist woman who worked as a farmer a village in Kyaito township in the Thaton district. On the 23rd of October 1992 she was abducted by the Burmese Military, forced to work as a porter and was gang raped  twice and beaten on many occasions during this period by Burmese soldiers. She was a 30 year old woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Gang Rape and Forced Labour (Porter)

 

Perpetrators – The Burmese Military – SLORC Soldiers

 

Consequences – Pregnancy from rape and abortion

 

 

“…..I tried to shout but the soldiers clamped their hands

over my mouth…”

         

 

I was taken as a porter in October. They said it would only be for 4 days, but then they kept me for one month and 4 days. The soldiers came to the village and asked for 5 men to go, but all the men had fled the village so they took 3 women instead. They made me carry a big tin of rice, and we had to carry from early in the morning until very late at night, every day. Altogether there were 25 women in our group, and something like 100 soldiers.

 

When we were too weak to carry our loads, they scolded us and beat us. They beat me with guns and sticks on the head and the back, and kicked me in the hips with army boots. I got big swollen bruises. The others were also beaten.

 

At night the soldiers carried the wounded back and we had to carry the torches. When there were many wounded we had to walk all night. Usually all 25 of us slept in a rice storage shelter. At night I couldn’t sleep because I often saw guards come and take the youngest girls away. I saw them take 3 girls away like this regularly. It was dark so I couldn’t see, but I think all the girls they took away were raped.

 

Two times I had to carry separately from the rest of the group, and ended up alone in the forest with the soldiers at night. Both times the soldiers came to me and beat me, showed me their guns to keep me quiet and then raped me. The first time I was raped by six soldiers, and the second night this happened I was raped by four soldiers. I was so very ashamed but I was very afraid, and there was nothing I could do. I tried to shout but the soldiers clamped their hands over my mouth.

 

Then when we got home many of us were pregnant. I was pregnant myself. We all had to get medicine to get rid of the baby. Now I’m in debt 1,000 Kyat for medicine. One of my friends who came back pregnant got rid of the baby too, and she’s been very sick and thin ever since. She’s still very sick.

 


(9) Naw Wah Paw’s Story

Naw Wah Paw is a Karen, Christian woman from a village, a village in Kyaito Township in the Thaton district. On the 24th of October 1992 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter, she was raped  twice by the unit captain during this time. She an 18 year old   young woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and Forced Labour (Porter)

 

Perpetrators – SLORC  soldiers from the Light Infantry Battalion

 

Consequences- Loss of physical and mental well being, Fear and shame.

 

“…..I was raped three times in that month by the Captain. I don’t know about the others because we’re all so ashamed to talk about it, in case our whole village might find out…”

 

Nine soldiers came to my house and captured me. They took 9 women from our village, aged 15 to 38, even though there were men in the village at the time. They took us to the Army Camp, then they gave us six 60 mm mortar shells each and forced us to carry them into the mountains the same day.

 

When we were on the mountains we got no water. We never got to bathe until we got to the frontline, and then we had to walk 2 hours down the mountain and 2 hours back up to carry water for the soldiers every day. When we got to the frontline and put down our loads they made us stay there but gave us no more food. There was a rice field there, and if we wanted to eat we had to pick the rice off the stalk and peel it with our teeth until we filled a little milk tin, and then cook it.

 

When we were slow they cursed and pushed us up the mountains, beat us with their fists and slapped us around the head. On the way one young woman had dysentery and couldn’t keep going so the rest of us had to help her along. She was beaten by the soldiers for not keeping up. The soldiers wouldn’t give us any medicine. We were all very weak and, crying every day. If the soldiers saw us crying they cursed us very rudely and abused us.

 

At night the 9 of us had to sleep on the ground. Soldiers came and pointed guns at us and forced us to go and massage the Captain and make a fire for him. We had to take turns doing this for an hour each, every night. Sometimes the soldiers pointed guns at us and ordered us to have sex with them. We had to. I was raped three times in that month by the Captain. I don’t know about the others because we’re all so ashamed to talk about it, in case our whole village might find out.

 

When there was fighting we tried to lie down under trees or bushes. Sometimes we had to carry ammunition to the soldiers right at the front. If we didn’t dare, the soldiers beat us and forced us. I saw some men porters wounded and carried back, but if they were bleeding much then they were just left without any treatment to die. I saw 20 porters wounded, and 5 who died.

After more than a month they finally let us go home. We all needed medical treatment for a whole month for weakness, malaria or other things. Many women came back pregnant, and then their mothers had to get medicine to get rid of the baby. Nobody could want such a baby.

 


(10) Naw Ler Paw’s Story

Naw Ler Paw  is a Karen, Buddhist woman., who worked as a farmer in her village in Karen State. On the 24th of October 1992 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter, she was raped  by the soldiers and beaten and threatened at gunpoint. She a 19 year old   young woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang rape and Forced Labour (Porter)

 

Perpetrators – SLORC  soldiers

 

Consequences- Possible pregnancy and abortion.

 

“……I couldn’t carry it, but they beat me in the back with a stick,

kicked me, slapped and pushed me, and I had to keep going….”

 

I was taken by the SLORC in October. They used me as a porter for one month and 2 days. I had to carry 6 shells, or one and a half tins of rice, and it weighed about 20 viss [32 kg.]. I couldn’t carry it, but they beat me in the back with a stick, kicked me, slapped and pushed me, and I had to keep going. I had pain inside. They hit me and knocked me down, then made me get back up and go again. They treated all of us like this.

 

At night we all had to sleep on the ground, like dogs or pigs. At night - it was terrible. The soldiers raped me. They pointed a gun, and forced us to follow them. I can’t describe it to you. I can’t talk about it.

 

I couldn’t shout. Even if you shouted, nobody could help you. When they wanted to beat us, they beat us as they liked.

 

I was with them for 33 days, then they let us go. One of my friends was sick and died along the way. Another woman died when we got back to the village. All the women with our group were raped, and some became pregnant. It’s been two months now, and I haven’t menstruated yet. If I find out I’m pregnant, I’ll have to find a way to stop it. I’ve felt sick ever since I got back. When I was taken as a porter, both my parents were at the farm. They didn’t know where I went. My mother was sick - and my father. I don’t know what to say to them.

            

(11) Naw Say Htoo’s Story

Naw Say Htoo  is a Karen, Muslim woman, who worked as a farmer in her village in Thaton Township in Thaton district.. On the 16th of February  1993 she was captured by the Burmese military and forced to work as a porter, she was raped  by the soldiers and beaten and threatened at gunpoint. She was only 15 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and Forced Labour (Porter).

 

Perpetrators – SLORC  soldiers

 

Consequences- Weak with Malaria and other diseases.

 

“….They made us bury dead soldiers and porters too...... 

Some of them had been blown apart, and we still had to bury them…”

         

I was 15 years old. The SLORC came to my village and told us we had to go to help them for a day and then they made me a porter for over a month. I had to carry a heavy load, and when I couldn’t they pushed me and shouted at me to climb the mountain quickly. The soldiers are very bad people - they’re always pushing us and shouting at us. And when we were sick, we still had to carry. When I couldn’t carry they hit me with a gun or a stick in the back, or with their boots. When I wanted to rest they slapped me. There were nine of us, and they did the same to us all.

 

They made us bury dead soldiers and porters too. We had to bury about 2 bodies each day for the whole month. Some of them had been blown apart, and we still had to bury them.

 

When there was no food we had to pick rice in the field and peel the husks with our teeth before cooking it. We got very weak and ill and thin. We got malaria and other diseases. At night we had to sleep on the ground under a tree. The soldiers often came and forced us into the forest with them. In the forest they asked, “Do you love me?” Then they raped me. They raped all of us. I was raped for three times on one day.

Now I don’t dare go back home. We have to go and work for the troops all the time. They always take the women to go and work for them.

                                                      

(12) Naw Htoo Htoo’s Story

Naw Htoo Htoo  is a Karen, Christian  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village Wet La Daw in Kyauki Township in Nyaunglebin district. On the 12th of February 1994 she was tortured and raped by Ba Kyi from the Burmese military. She was a 33 year old widow with three children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape and Forced Labour.

 

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers from the 60 Regiment

 

Consequences- Forced to flee from village.

 

“……my life was now nothing but darkness. He just said, “If you’re so troubled and ashamed, go hang yourself”……

 

The SLORC troops from 60 Regiment often forced us to work for them. They made us sleep on the ground in the camp, but the mosquitoes usually kept us awake. We could only go to the latrine once in the early morning or once after work in the evening, and we had to urinate where we slept.

 

Then after 3 days of this they said we couldn’t go home, and we’d have to stay for a week. When we protested that we had no more food or clean clothes, a village elder was sent back to the village to get these things from our homes, but we weren’t allowed to go.

 

Shortly after this system began, Paw Daw Moo camp closed for a few days while soldiers went to reinforce the troops at Yan Gyi Aung camp in some fighting with the Karen army. When they came back, they called a meeting and told all the villagers to cooperate with them and that they would give us some food if we worked with the army. But we still had to bring all our food with us every time; they only gave us some beans and a few other things.

 

One night, I remember it was February 12; Ba Kyi came back from a trip to headquarters and called a meeting. When we left the meeting we were split into small groups and kept under guard on the ground. But none of us could sleep because Ba Kyi went up the hill to the top of the camp and ordered the soldiers to fire their guns and mortars all over the place for no reason. There were all kinds of explosions and we were terrified, which must have been why he did it. Along with the other Christians there, I just prayed and tried to sleep.

 

Ba Kyi started calling villagers to his quarters one by one and questioning them, but we never got to see them afterwards to find out what happened. Eventually I was woken up and was the first of the 5 women there taken to see him. After I was left alone with him, he told me to tell him about Wet La Daw village, especially about the smugglers coming to buy cattle and buffaloes and any villagers who were helping the rebels. I didn’t want to tell him anything, and he started yelling at me and threatening me with his knife. He demanded to know about Karen soldiers and Saw Lah Oo, their commander. I told him I’m too busy struggling to survive and feed my children to think about such things. He said he wanted to know what the villagers said about him. He told me he’d already tied up 2 villagers and killed them, and started firing continuous questions at me, especially about Saw Lah Oo. I didn’t even have time to try to answer.

 

Then he pushed me into a small room behind a wall and tied one of my hands with wire so I couldn’t move. He ordered me to sit quietly while he interviewed the others. Then he went and just pretended to call the next person in, but immediately came back to me and started asking more questions. I said, “Don’t ask me, ask the men,” and he accused me of working for the rebels.

 

Then he waved his knife at me again, grabbed my free hand and clutched at my breasts. I shouted, “Son, let me free!” But he told me since he was 24 and I was only 33, I must call him Brother, and started asking for sex. When I refused he said, “Then I’ll send you up to the top of the camp – there many of my men will rape you and kill you, and we’ll say the Karen rebels did it! If that frightens you, you’d better give in to me!” I told him, “ Son, don’t do this – you’re single, if you need a woman you can marry someone much prettier than me. I’m a Christian widow, I have 3 children to support and I have to work here. I have too much trouble already.”

 

He just kept threatening that he’d give me to his men who’d rape me to death, waving his knife and demanding sex. I kept fighting but he tied up my other hand, and then he pushed me down and raped me. I warned him I must tell the Church but he ordered me not to. When he was finished he asked me, “Are you satisfied?” All I could tell him was that my life was now nothing but darkness. He just said, “If you’re so troubled and ashamed, go hang yourself.”

 

He raped me 3 times that night. I was tied up so tightly that my elbows were dislocated while he raped me, and they still hurt even now. Then he told me that when I went the next day I would have to go and spy on 2 huts near the village that the Karen soldiers used and report back to him by letter, especially anything about Saw Lah Oo. I agreed just so he’d let me go. At 4 a.m. they woke up the other villagers and let me go with them but warned me not to tell them anything except that I’d been tied up under a tree overnight.

 

But back in the village, I felt I had to tell them and tell the Church. When I did this I learned that Ba Kyi had treated many women the same way before. But now that I’d told them I couldn’t stay there safely any more, and I had to flee my home and bring my children here.

 

(13) Naw Lay Wah’s story

Naw Lay Wah  is a Karen, Buddhist  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village in Paan Township in Paan district. On the 21st of November 1994 she was raped in her home, a knife was held to one side of her face, and a gun to the other. She was a 38 year old married with four children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape and Death threats.

 

Perpetrators – 60 SLORC soldiers from the 99th Division

 

Consequences- Fear of husband’s reaction.

 

“……..he took his gun and held it against one side of my face, and pulled out his knife and held it against the other side,

and said, “If you fight or cry or shout, I’ll kill you….”

 

My story happened in November when we were still living in our village. We were very afraid of the Burmese, especially because we women and children were all alone in the village. All the men had left the village to hide from the SLORC, because every time the SLORC saw village men in the area they took them straight away to the frontline to be porters. The SLORC troops at De Caw Po camp also send orders for our men to go as porters often, and if you don’t go you have to pay 1,500 Kyat each time.

 

One night in November, after dark when all the children were already asleep, more than 60 SLORC soldiers from 99 Division came through our village. I heard many soldiers pass my house. My two eldest children were sleeping at their grandmother’s house, and I was alone with my two smallest children. I had a small lamp burning because I was very afraid. I thought may be some soldiers had gone underneath my house. Then one soldier came straight into my house, and he put out the light right away so I couldn’t see his face. The soldier said to me, “Mother, where is Father?” meaning my husband. I said, “He’s at the farm.” The soldier sounded not too old, and he stank of alcohol. Then he asked, “Has your husband gone to join the Karen Army?” I said, “ No, he’s a farmer and just works at our farm.” Then the soldier told me to lie down. He said, “Lie down, Mother.” I refused, so he pushed me and I fell on my children. They started crying, and the soldier jumped on me and started to wrestle with me. Then he put his rifle barrel against my face - it felt so cold and made me so afraid I can’t tell you. He put the barrel against my chest and pushed me down again. He grabbed my throat and said, “If you shout I’ll choke you!” and tried to slap me but I turned my face away. So he took his gun and held it against one side of my face, and pulled out his knife and held it against the other side, and said, “If you fight or cry or shout, I’ll kill you.”

 

My sarong had already come apart while we were fighting. He raped me, and I couldn’t even scream. My children started crying very loudly so the neighbours must have heard, but they were all too afraid to come and help because soldiers were in all of their houses too, cooking their food to eat and stealing their things.

 

After he raped me he said, “You mustn’t tell anyone anything or I’ll kill you. You and you children must just be quiet. Go to sleep quietly.” Then he left, and I lit the light and we went to my mother-in-law’s house. I told her what happened. I was angry at her and said, “Why didn’t you come? You heard my children crying.” She said they couldn’t because some soldiers were in their house too and were going into their bedroom and stealing their things. I told her I was very afraid my husband wouldn’t understand and would be angry at me, but she tried to calm me by saying he would understand.

                                     

 (14) Naw Aw Paw’s story

Naw Aw Paw  is a Karen, Buddhist  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village in Hlaing Bweh Township, in Paan district. On the 10th of December 1994 was abducted by SLORC soldiers and taken to their nearby camp. She was raped and forced into “marriage” by one of the soldiers. During their three months of “marriage” she was routinely beaten and psychologically tortured. She became pregnant as a result of the rapes but lost the baby due to the beatings. She was a 21 year old single woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape, Forced marriage and Death threats to self and family.

 

Perpetrators  Soe Soe from the 338 Battalion lead by Commander Major Aung Khaing

 

Consequences- Pregnancy, Loss of baby due to beatings and ongoing poor health and trauma

 

“….You are worthless. When I kill you, I’ll also kill your parents, brothers and sisters. But the most important thing is that

 I must drink your blood before I leave…”

 

I arrived here a few weeks ago. In my village, the SLORC troops always came and grabbed people to do forced labour. Because of that, we didn’t have any time to do our own work. Even when we went to our fields the soldiers came and grabbed us. One day the soldiers suddenly arrived at my hut. My older brother and sister escaped, and I was left alone with just my two younger sisters. They started crying loudly, and then two of the soldiers came up to me, pointed their guns at me and told me to follow them. They took me to their camp. When we got there I saw our village headman and asked him to vouch for me so I could escape. Some of my female friends were also there.

 

The soldiers didn’t give us any food, and at night we were very hungry. I told my friends I didn’t want to sleep there, but it was raining heavily and my friends said, "Don’t try to escape. We will sleep close together tonight for safety." Later I found out that there was a soldier there who speaks Karen who already wanted me and had already told his officer that he wanted to sleep with me, but at the time I didn’t know, so I went to sleep close to my 2 female friends. When I fell asleep, the soldier came over and grabbed me. I told him, “I don’t like you. You are not of my people,” but he said, “I’ll take you and you’ll have to be my wife.” I kept refusing. The next day they let us go, but he followed me to my house. Along the way I tried to look very angry and didn’t smile, because I hated him and wanted him to know it. Then he stayed for 3 days at my house with my family. After 3 days he asked me to go back with him. My mother was very worried because she said he would just take me and keep me in the jungle, but I didn’t dare refuse so I had to go. He kept me at the camp for 3 days and raped me in the daytime. I told him, “I don’t like you and I won’t marry you,” but he kept saying, “I will marry you and look after you.” Then he took me back to my house and forced my parents to marry us. They had to because they couldn’t do anything else. Then he said he would take me home with him. He took my earrings and my clothes and sold them. Then he took me to Rangoon. He asked me to go watch video with him, but when we arrived at the movie house he slapped me in the face so hard I got dizzy. He dragged me back to his house, started beating me up and told me he would sell me in Myawaddy. After that I escaped when he wasn’t there and went back to my village, but every time I did this he followed me, caught me and beat me again. He told me to give him all my belongings, and he kept beating me up all the time. One day when I was in my village he came back to my house very drunk. I told him to eat something, but he told me he didn’t want to eat and slapped me in the face. I got very angry and told myself, "I hate this man. I didn’t want to marry him, and now I have to retaliate even though I am a woman." So, I kicked him right out of my house. He fell under the house then tried to climb the ladder to get in again but every time I kicked him down again.

 

He got very angry and said, “You don’t respect me - you’re trying to humiliate me. You’re a woman but you keep kicking me.” Suddenly he managed to grab me and tried to strangle me. One of my cousins came to help me and I escaped and ran away. The soldier went to my father and told him, “Tonight I’ll kill her and burn your rice barn.” He ordered my father and sister to look for me, and they found me in a small hut where I was hiding and took me home. I washed my feet and went in, and the soldier asked me stupid questions like: “Do you have brothers and sisters? Are your parents still alive?” I said yes. He asked, “Do you have your own family?” I said no. Then he told me, “Make your bed. Tonight you will be killed, and I’ll drink your blood. I won’t leave this house until I’ve drunk your blood. Here is the knife. Wait and see. You are worthless. When I kill you, I’ll also kill your parents, brothers and sisters. But the most important thing is that I must drink your blood before I leave. Then I’ll burn your body until only ashes remain, and I’ll put all the villagers on a skewer and burn them all. And I’ll kill all the monks!”

 

I got up and escaped. I went to another house, and the people told me, "He’s taken his gun and he’s looking to kill you, and he’s going to burn the rice barn at your house." I didn’t dare stay in the village anymore, so I ran to another village and talked to the headman. He said, "If you want to go, then go. He might try to follow you. Just go." So I came here together with my father and we built this house. We arrived a few weeks ago. I was married to the soldier for about 3 months. I got pregnant but when the soldier was beating me he always kicked me in the belly, and it hurt the baby inside. When I was 2 months pregnant I lost the baby because he beat me. Even now, I still don’t feel completely well. It hurts inside, and I can’t do heavy work or carry anything heavy any more. I feel dizzy all the time.


(15) Naw Baw Baw’s story

Naw Baw Baw  is a Karen, Buddhist  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village in Hlaing Bweh Township, in Paan district. On the 12th of December 1994 was abducted by SLORC soldiers to work as a forced labour in their army camp. She was raped by one of the soldiers. She was a 32 year old widow with two children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape, and ill treatment of husband leading to death

 

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers from Battalion 28

 

Consequences- Fled from village

 

“…I went to his commander Myint Shwe Htoo to report it and told him how terrible I felt, and he told me I could do whatever I liked, so I left. He made the soldier carry a log around the camp

 just once as punishment…”

 

When I had to go from my village for slave labour, I was raped by a soldier. We went to work at their army camp for 5 days, and when we got there they refused to give us any food. Everyone had to work without food, so the next morning I had to go back to the village with my friends to get some food. After we brought it back to their camp, two men had escaped from the slave labour at night, so the soldiers went to try to catch them and made things harder for the rest of us. That’s why they wouldn’t let us go back to the village after that. Altogether there were 19 of us, 11 men and 8 women. That night a soldier came, grabbed my shoulders and pushed me down. Then he covered my mouth so I couldn’t yell. Then he kissed me and raped me. I felt so terrible. The soldier said, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” But I said, “I will tell because I feel so terrible about it.”

 

I went to his commander Myint Shwe Htoo to report it and told him how terrible I felt, and he told me I could do whatever I liked, so I left. He made the soldier carry a log around the camp just once as punishment. I don’t know the soldier’s name. 

 

We haven’t been beaten at this army camp, but when we have to go work at other army camps I’ve seen the soldiers beat people on the head with a big stick. Then when they’ve beaten them enough, they start kicking them and then they make them keep working. The soldiers never give them medical treatment, just beat them and make them work. I’ve also had to go as a porter to carry bullets and rice - sometimes only 3 viss [5kg.] but sometimes 10 or 20 viss [16 to 32 kg.]. We had to go 2 day's walk in one direction, and sleep on the ground, in open places in the mountains. I saw them beat porters who got weak and couldn’t carry. They beat them with a bamboo rod on the back, the hips, the arms and legs, and yelled, “Go! Go!” One time they didn’t give us any food, just let us starve for 2 or 3 days. My Aunt Paw Say was crying because she was hungry. We cried and we asked permission to go home and get food but they refused. Even though we were crying they refused. My Aunt Paw Say was 48 years old and has 4 children. People got stomachaches from starvation. All our food we’d brought from the village was finished because they told us we were going for just one day, and then they kept us for several days. The soldiers also made us pay porter fees of 45 Kyat from each person every month, and when we can’t afford to pay them, they come to our village and arrest people.

 

When I have to go as porter, my children have to stay with relatives. My husband died last year. He was taken as a porter, he was sick when he got home, and then he died. My father is also dead. Only my mother is still alive. We didn’t want to stay there anymore, so I came here with my children. I don’t want to go back.

 

(16) Naw Sha’s story

Naw Sha  is a Karen, Buddhist  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village Kyo lu, in Kyautkyi Township, in the  Nyaunglebin district. On the 3rd of June 1995  her husband was murdered and she was captured by SLORC soldiers. She was held at their camp for three years and was repeatedly raped by one of the soldiers. She was a 45 year old married woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape, and murder of husband

 

Perpetrators – SLORC soldiers

 

Consequences- Detained by the SLORC for three years

 

 

“…….Because they covered my face I didn't see anything but I could hear them digging a hole and I knew that was the grave of my husband….”

 

I remember in 1995 one day my husband and I, with one of my friends, went to the forest to look for some vegetables. When we came back and were at the riverside we heard people speaking. My husband asked me to wait there and he went to see if these people were Karen or Burmese solders. My husband came back and told me that they were Burmese soldiers with their arms and ammunition.

 

 When we started to come back my husband stepped over a log and suddenly a bullet went through my husband and he fell to the ground. My friend who went together with us ran away and called me to go with him, but I didn't. I told him that I had to go and see my husband. Unluckily the soldiers came toward me and captured me. They tied my hands at the back and covered my face with a cloth and they pulled me over the log. Because they covered my face I didn't see anything but I could hear them digging a hole and I knew that was the grave of my husband.

 

A gang of soldiers who were 20 to 30 people took me to Maw Kyo Ko and when I arrived at their camp there were over 1,000 soldiers living there. It took three days to walk from Maw Kyo Ko to Mu Thet. On the way when we spent the night the soldiers guarded me one hour each. Among the soldiers Thaw Heh Htoo raped me when it was his turn to guard me. Five times in three nights.

 

 After we slept in Mu Thet ,they took me to Kyautkyi . On the way from Moe Kyo Koh to Mu Thet, the troop burned down Kyo lu village and an old woman was burned because she couldn't run as other people and couldn't move as well.

 

I lived in Kyautkyi for three years with this troop. Later I heard one of my brothers was in Bassien. So I sent message to him and he came and rescued me. After I left Mu Thet I came back and I stayed in my village again.

 

(17) Naw Beh Htoo’s story

Naw Beh Htoo is a Karen, Buddhist  woman, who worked as a farmer in her village in the Doplaya district. On the 15th  of May  1996 while her husband was out she was raped in her home in the village by an SLORC soldier. She was a 16 year old married woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape and death threats

 

Perpetrators  Sergeant  Aung Aung from LID  44 led by Ohn Myint

 

Consequences-  No action taken against the sergeant

 

“…First I thought it was my husband. So I lightened the light. But it was not my husband.  It was an SLORC soldier dressed in black pants and on his arm I saw three lines…”

 

I lived in my village called Azin in Doplaya District. The time was one month after I gave birth to my first baby, about 10 pm on 15 May 1996. My husband was at his neighbouring house. A man came to my house. First I thought it was my husband. So I lightened the light. But it was not my husband.  It was an SLORC soldier dressed in black pants and on his arm I saw three lines. Then I recognized that he was a soldier, a sergeant. I was afraid of that person who I saw. Then I tried to shout. But he pointed his gun at me and said, “ Don't shout or I will shoot you.” He came closer to me and then raped me rudely. As I was weakened by giving birth, I had no resistance to struggle free. After 10 minutes he went out from my house.

 

Then, after the soldier went out, my husband came back and I told him what happened to me everything. First, he scolded me. But when he knew everything, the next day, he went to the village chief and reported what happened to me. Then he went to the troops based outside the village. When the captain asked whether I could recognise the man he asked me to go there. I said I knew. First the sergeant denied it. But when I told him that he was the person who came to me, he stayed silent. So the captain told me that he would take action to Aung Aung. But I think there was no serious action taken.

 

On the following day, the medical team from SLORC soldier came to me and gave me some medicine to take. I don’t know what kind of  medicine. The villagers told me that it was to protect me from pregnancy. That is when I came across the worst experience in my life.

 

(18) Naw Me Me and Naw De De’s story

Naw Me Me and Naw De De are both Karen, Buddhist  women, who worked as  farmers in their  village, in Kyain Hseit Kyi Township in the Doplaya district. On the 20th of May 1996 they were both raped at gunpoint by two soldiers. They were 22 and 19 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape and death threats

 

Perpetrators – Sergeant Chit Shwe and one of his soldiers from IB(3) led by Major Khin Maung Shwe

 

“……The two girls were sisters and as they were single they were

ashamed and couldn’t tell anybody..”

 

 

 

Story teller: Naw Eh Taw, one of the villagers

 

I was a villager with Naw Me Naw De De and Me. They told me after what happened to them. They were single and stayed with their parents in the same house.  During that period IB (3) of the SLORC troops was based in their village. One night in 1996 May 20th about 1am at night, there came two soldiers to their house and came into their room while they were asleep together with their mother. Then one of the soldiers pointed his gun at her sister and told her not to shout. Then the sergeant raped both of them and asked his soldier to rape them again. Then after raping the two girls, they went out from the house.

 The two girls were sisters and as they were single they were ashamed and couldn’t tell anybody. But Naw Eh Taw was the neighbour of them and they told her what happened to them. At that time the village chiefs changed and there was no village chief in their village. And no action was taken on their case at that time.                                 

 

(19) Naw Ta Kaw’s story

Naw Ta Kaw is a Karen, Buddhist women, who worked as a domestic in her village, in Worrow Township in the Doplaya district. On the 19th of April 1997, one month after she had given birth she was raped by a major in the SLORC army. She was 17 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape, Beating and death threats.

 

Perpetrators  LID (44), LI (104), led by Major Aung Zay Oo (called Boe Meh Lone)

 

Consequences-  Mental trauma

 

 

“…..There were an old man and women in the house and they slept close to me. They knew it. But they couldn’t do anything because they also were afraid of that man….”

 

 

It was 1997 April 19. The SLORC troops, about 100, enter into my village. At that time I was in my aunty's house. They came to my house and took my mother and my sister Naw Hsar Wah with them to another place. One of the villagers, Saw Htun Myiang, came to me and said that the chief of the village called me. Then I took my one month old child and went to the place where the chief was. Than I saw many of the SPDC soldiers. The Major Aung Zay Oo (called) Boe Meh Lone told me to find my husband and bring him to him. When I told him that I didn't know where he was, he hit me 2 times on my head and it became swollen. Then he told me to go with him. I replied that I could not walk, because I gave birth only one month ago and it was too hot to go. Then he hit me one time. Then he ordered the chief of the village to find a bullock cart. Then he asked me to go with that cart with some of his soldiers to Pha Pra village. When I arrived there he asked me stay in Muga Pu Lu Ku's house. There Major Aung Zay Oo (Boe Meh Lone) told me to find my husband to come back and surrender and again beat me. And he scolded me that I was in the family of a Karen resistant and said he would kill all of us. At night I decided to sleep with Muga Pu Lu Ku. But he told me not to sleep there because he would need to ask me questions. So I brought my one month old child and came back to the place where he told me to stay and I went to sleep.

 

After the light was out about 10 pm, he came to my place. When I asked him, “ Why did you come here?” He replied that I didn't need to ask. Then he turned me round and pushed me to lie down on my place where I slept. I tried to shout but he grabbed my neck.  I told him that I was not a prostitute. Then he raped me badly. There were an old man and women in the house and they slept close to me. They knew it. But they couldn’t do anything because they also were afraid of that man. This man Boe Meh Lone came with 3 of his soldiers to me. Then they went out. Again about 12 midnight I think, he came to me again. This time I decided that whatever happened, I would protect myself. So when he came to me to hold me down, I kicked his body as much as I could and then he fell down on the floor. Then he went out and said that he would kill me and my child. So the next day in the evening about 5 pm, I escaped from that place and when I reached about 3 miles I went back to my mother and my sister and I told them all about what happened to me. I left my child with them and I escaped alone to the place which I thought a safe place. That is a place in the forest.

 

At that time, I didn't see any of the chief of the village to complain. But later on they know about it. But there is no one who will take action.

 

So concerning this case, as I have suffered, I want to see the causer of my suffering tied and brought to me and I want to kill him myself. Because my husband did not understand me and I have a mental disorder since then. Now my pain does not cease. If there is any one who will help me I will be glad and thank them so that I can take revenge on him.

 


(20) Naw Shwe Myint’s Story

Naw Shwe Myint is a Shan, Pa O Buddhist women, who worked as a farmer in her village, in Kyain Hseik Kyi Township in the Doplaya district. On the 26th of December 1997 she was abducted from her home, threatened with a hand grenade and raped. She was 43 year old married woman with four children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Rape and threats of other violence.

 

Perpetrators  IB 62 , Medic San Htay led by  LID 44 Colonel Aung Khaing

 

“….while I was asleep, in my room, one man came and pulled

  my mosquito net and said that  the elder called me

and asked me to  follow him….”

 

It was a time when people were celebrating Christmas at our village in 1997 December 26th. I was at home with my one year old child and my father. My husband had gone to the church to help people with cooking. When it was about 10 pm at night while I was asleep, in my room, one man came and pulled my mosquito net and said that the elder called me and asked me to follow him. I said that it was not the right time and that I was not feeling well and could not follow him. While we were quarrelling, my father woke up and said that it was dark and nighttime, “How could she follow you?” Then he held out a grenade to my father. While they were quarrelling, I ran out from my house as fast as I could. But because of my weakness, he followed me and caught me. Then he pulled me beside the peanut garden and pushed me on the ground and then he put his penis into my mouth and asked me to make sex with him. When I refused, he jumped on me and raped me. It was beside the village street and people were going up and down on the street and lighting torches. So he closed my mouth and pulled me to another place and again pushed me to the ground, closed my mouth and made sex by his mouth to my vagina for half an hour. Then he let me go back. After I arrived home, I saw my husband and I told him what happened to me in detail. My husband felt so angry and the next day he went to the village chief and reported to him. I told them that I could recognise the fellow. Then they went to Colonel Aung Khaing and reported again what had happened to me.

 

They asked me to show where the place was. Then when I went there it was a garden of rubber trees. The next day they brought the soldier tied with rope to me and asked him to confess what he had done to me. First he denied. But some of my villagers recognised him. And so, later on he said he did.

 

So I knew that the one who raped me was the medic from SPDC troop San Htay , the medic from  IB  62,  led by Colonel  Aung Khaing from LID  44.       

               

The next day some of the elders from the SPDC troops came to my house and persuaded me not to worry and told me that they would take action. And left 2 bags of rice and some tins of beans. As for me I don’t know whether they took action or not.

 

(21) Naw Myint Myint’s Story

Naw Myint  Myint is a  Karen  Buddhist  from a  village, in Kyain Hseik Kyi Township in the Doplaya district. On the 20th of February 1998 she was gang raped by four soldiers while she was out collecting firewood.  She was 20 year old single woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations –Gang Rape, Beating and death threats.

 

Perpetrators – 4 soldiers of the SPDC troops from IB (355) led by Column Commander Saw Aung and Second Column Commander Aung Lwin from Column(2)

 

Consequences- Threatened by the SPDC Commander

 

 

“…During the time of raping, she tried to run and shout. But they knocked her, beat her and tore her clothes so that she could not move. Then they left her….”

 

 

Story teller - Naw Eh Taw ( Naw Eh Taw was a woman who had concern for her villagers. She herself had been raped and so she was the one who tried to find out cases and tell them to the elder. But at that time there was no village chief in that situation.)

 

Naw Myint Myint told her that one evening she went outside near her house to find firewood. It is not so far from her house and about 4 pm. While she was picking up the wood, she saw 4 of the SPDC soldiers coming towards her. Then she decided to run away. But they are 4 and strong and no chance for her to run. Then one of the soldiers caught her and held her and the rest of the soldiers raped her one by one. Then the one who caught her also raped her. During the time of raping, she tried to run and shout. But they knocked her, beat her and tore her clothes so that she could not move. Then they left her. She had body pain and was tired but with difficulty she went back to her house. Then she told Naw Eh Taw. At that time she stayed with Naw Eh Taw’s mother. She didn’t even know the name of the SPDC soldiers, the military which was based in their place was the one she mentioned.

 

When they went to the Commander of the troops and told what happened to her, instead of taking action, the Commander told her not to tell anybody about it otherwise she would be punished.

                                                      

(22) Ma Sein Sein, Ma Kyi Aye, Naw Htoo Lweh,  and Naw Eh Mu’s Story

Ma Sein Sei,  Ma Kyi Aye,  Naw Htoo Lweh, Naw  Eh Mu, are two Burmese and two Karen  Buddhist women  from a  village, in Yee Township in the Doplaya district. On the 23rd of May 1998 they were adducted and raped by SPDC soldiers. They were respectively 19, 22, 25 and 29 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and beatings

Perpetrators- SPDC soldiers LID (207) led by Battalion Second in Command Myint Thein and friends.

 

Consequences- Pain, fear and shame

 

 

“……….told them that she was pregnant and begged them not to rape her. But they didn’t listen to her….”

 

The evening of 23rd May in 1998 about 10 pm at night, three of the sergeants of SPDC troops of LID (207) led by Battalion Second in Command Myint Thein, came into that village and captured Naw Htoo Lweh, Naw Eh Mu and two Burmese ladies and took them outside the village to the river and to try to rape them. Naw Htoo Lweh told them that she was pregnant and begged them not to rape her. But they didn’t listen to her. Just the same they beat her and with torch light to her head pushed her on the ground and raped her badly. The other women, Naw Eh Mu and the other two Burmese named Ma Sein Sein and Ma Kyi Aye, were raped at the same time. Then the soldiers left them. The time they were raped was dark and they were afraid of the soldiers and because they suffered from pain, fear, and shame and were tied they could not come back at once.

 

Naw Eh Mu became mad and scared about the bad situation and whenever she saw people with the uniform, she ran away and hid herself. For the two Burmese women, they escaped to another place to be free from that situation. No one took action on that case because at that time there was no leader or chief in the village.

                                               

(23) Naw Hsar Paw’s   Story

Naw Hsar Paw is a Karen Christian woman who worked as a farmer in her village, in Kyain Hseit Kyii Township, in the Doplaya district. On the 9th of January 1999 she was taken by the SPDC as a porter. During the day she was forced to carry heavy things and at night she was gang raped by five SPDC soldiers. She finally escaped on the 20th of January 1999.  She was a 23 year old widow with three children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and beatings

 

Perpetrators -  SPDC soldiers: (1) Kyaw Kyaw Win Lieutenant Colonel Battalion LID 22 LIB 205,  (2)Aung Gyi Colonel Battalion Second in Command, (3)  Pay Than Win Captain, (4) Kyaw Lwin  Bo Company Commander, and (5) Ko Oo Bo, Second Company Commander.

 

Consequences- Pregnancy and abortion

 

“….So when she was raped by many of them as gang raped she was

unconscious sometimes...”

 

 

While she was living in her village she was captured as the porter to carry shells for the SPDC. At daytime she was forced to carry heavy things and at night she was raped. She said that there were many girls and women like her who were also captured and were forced to carry like her, but they were separated from her by the troop. After the SPDC troop separated them they never met again each other. She did try to escape from the troop but they captured her again and slapped her face about 8 times. From the day when she left her house she slept on the ground every night. From that day and the following days she was raped until she escaped after 10 days. She was raped every night by from one to 5 persons. If she refused or asked them not to rape her, then they slapped her or beat her or closed her mouth. So when she was raped by many of them as gang raped she was unconscious sometimes. At that time they jumped on her body with their boots. While she was being raped at night she heard women shouting from other places. And so she knew there were many women suffering like her.

 

They fed her only one plate of rice. Because of ill treatment of the troop of SPDC Naw Hsar Paw escaped from the troop after she got meal in the morning while the troop were in deep sleep. She ran away with 4 of the male porters and they slept in the forest for 2 days and later on she came to the place close with the border where she took refuge.

 

After she was raped she didn't know herself that she got pregnant. But after she was raped she went to the hospital and got treatment from the doctor. Later she found out that she was pregnant and had abortion. No one took any action on it.

 

(24) Naw Bway Paw’s   Story

Naw Bway Paw is a Karen Buddhist woman form a village, in Kyain Township, in the Doplaya district. On the 15th of May 1999 when she was eight months pregnant she was gang raped by eight soldiers. Shortly after the rapes her baby was born dead. She was a 23-year woman with one child at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and beatings

 

Perpetrators - LIB (210) Battalion Commander Maung Maung Ohn and 8 soldiers

 

Consequences- Her baby was born dead

 

 

“………8 months pregnant.  All of the soldiers raped her and they captured her husband for 10 days as a porter

 to carry military ammunition….”

 

Story teller -One of Naw Bway Paw’s fellow villagers

 

On 15 May in 1999 at 12 noon, 8 of the soldiers of SPDC troops LIB (210) led by Battalion Commander Maung Maung Ohn, came back from the battle field fighting in the village of Kyong Doe, Koe Kyoung, and Noe Taw Pla. They came back with the wounded soldiers and when they arrived at the house of Naw Bway Paw, they went into her house and tied up her husband with rope in three parts of his body, at his neck, his body and his leg. And 8 of the SPDC soldiers raped her. She was gang raped.  At that time Naw Bway Paw was 8 months pregnant. All of the soldiers raped her and they captured her husband for 10 days as a porter to carry military ammunition. After the SPDC soldiers left, Naw Bway Paw got serious pain because of her 8-month pregnancy and being gang raped. She could not move or even shout or cry. But two of her villagers came into her house and took her to the hospital nearby.

 

When she arrived at the hospital, the nurse gave her treatment. Within a few days she gave birth to her baby. But her baby was dead. Her condition was so bad and she was suffering nearly a year after being raped. But there was no action taken for her case.

 

(25) Ma Pyu Pyu’s   Story

Ma Pyu Pyu is a Burmese Buddhist young woman form a village, in the Tavoy district. On the 28th of January 2001she was raped by an SPDC soldier at a Burmese army checkpoint. She an 18 year old young woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and robbery

 

Perpetrators - Thein Myint Zaw, The Lieutenant from Burma Army’s Infantry Battalion 104

 

Consequences- No action was taken due to fear of the SPDC

 

“…..company commander in that camp, summoned her

 to his hut and said that he needed to check her.

Then he raped her badly…”

 

Ma Pyu Pyu worked in a Thai border town Htong Hpa Hpon and travelled back to her home in a village of Tavoy Township. On the evening of January 28, 2001 she arrived at a Burma Army check point at Thuka border, opposite to Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province. Lt.Thein Myint Zaw a company commander in that camp summoned her to his hut and said that he needed to check her. Then he raped her badly. After Lt.Thein Myint Zaw forcibly raped her he took away 10,000 Thai baht from her. The next day on the 21st of January Thein Myint Zaw gave her 1,000 baht for her travelling expenditure and set her free. No one took any action for her because they were afraid of the SPDC troops.

                                      

 

(26) Naw Eh Thee and Naw Way Way’s   Story

 

Naw Eh Thee and Naw Way Way are Karen Buddhist women from a village, in the Tavoy district. On the 25th of July 2001 they were abducted, raped and murdered by the SPDC. They were 25 and 20 year old single women at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and murder

 

Perpetrators - Lt. Col. Zaw Lwin from No.2 Column, Battalion Commander of Infantry Battalion 17

 

Consequences- Raped and killed by bayonets

 

 “……Both of their bodies were found naked and with wounds

from bayonet stabbing….”

 

 

          The Lt. Col. Zaw Lwin from No.2 Column, Battalion Commander of Infantry, and Battalion 17 raped the two Karen women, Naw Eh Thee and Naw Way Way between Pawat Htein and Pawat Peindaw village in Tenasserim Township. Both of their bodies were found naked and with wounds from bayonet stabbing. They were seen by the villagers.

 

The reason was that when the SPDC troops led by Lt. Col. Zaw Lwin from No.2 Column, Battalion Commander of Infantry, entered the village they arrested their father and beat him. And asked for 2 walkie talkie radio communicators. As they were poor and had no idea of that, they couldn’t show anything. And their father, Saw Dah Bleh, replied that they had nothing. Then they captured both of the daughters, Naw Eh Thee and Naw Way Way, and asked them to find the walkie talkies. But they couldn’t find them. Then they took both of them to another village. People did not know what had happened to them. But on 27 July 2001 people saw the two dead bodies between Pawat Htein and Pawat Peindaw village in Tenasserim Township. So they knew that these two women were raped and killed by stabbing by bayonet.

 

(27) Naw Cho Cho and Naw Pre Pre Poe’s Story

Naw Cho Cho and Naw Pre Pre Poe are Karen Buddhist women from a village, in Kaw Kareit Township in the Doplaya district... On the 11th February 2002 they were abducted, held captive and raped by two soldiers. They were 18 and 16 year old single young women at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape, abduction and threats of violence

 

Perpetrators - SPDC troops of IB 10, LID (88)

 

“…Then the soldiers tied us with rope and told us to stay

with them and not to run or shout if we didn’t want to die…”

 

Story teller: Naw Pre Pre Poe tells her story by herself as follows.

 

Me and five of my friends went to a place to watch a movie in the evening about 5 pm. When we were on our way, we met with two of the SPDC soldiers with guns in their hands. Actually they came back from our village where they asked for food to eat. But our villagers did not give them anything and they came back and met with us on their coming back. So some of my friends ran away but two of us, me and my friend, were captured by the soldiers and they pointed at us with their guns so we could not run away. They asked us to follow them. We refused but they showed us their guns and so we followed them instead of escaping. Then they crossed the river and went to a far place. We told them that the dark was coming and to let us go back to our village. Instead of going back they pulled us to the deep forest which we never had been to at night. And we were in the jungle and it was about 7pm. Then we saw some of our villagers come with a monk bringing their fire wood and they called our names. We saw them and heard them call us, but the two soldiers pointed their knives and guns to us and told us not to shout. If we shouted then they would kill us they said.

 

When the villagers could not see us, they went back. Then the soldiers tied us with rope and told us to stay with them and not to run or shout if we didn’t want to die. But about midnight we think, they pushed us and told us to lie down on the ground and they tried to rape us. But we told them not to do that. We refused but they were bigger than us and so both of them raped both of us.  Naw Cho Cho said, “She wants to pass urine,” and asked them to let me go. But they said, “You can go here. Don’t go far from us.” So I went in the place where I slept. Again they raped us second time. This time I got pain and felt so ashamed and I don’t know how to tell how I felt. I could not move or breathe. They raped me about half an hour because it took a long time more than the first time. Then it seems that they felt tired and so they slept still holding their guns. One slept on the ground and one by sitting and gripping his gun. Now I think it is a good chance for us to escape. But my friend was afraid and she didn’t want to run. But I told her not to be afraid and to follow me. Then we started to run from them.

 

 I didn’t know the way to come back and didn’t want to go the same way which we came because I knew that if we ran the same way maybe they would catch us. And so we ran and climbed up a mountain, crossed the bushes and valley. We didn’t see anything, but just ran and ran. Fortunately, I saw a small light far away and I thought it would be a hut or village. So I encouraged my friend and we ran directly and so later on we arrived to our village, about 4 am. We knew that it was morning. I told my uncle and asked him to call the chief of the village and find those two soldiers. If they went at the time we told them they could catch them but they also were afraid of them and they waited until dawn. Then they went to the Chief Commander and told them what happened last night. But the Chief Commander didn’t pay any attention.

 

For my friend, she felt so shy she decided to commit suicide. But her parents talked to persuade her not to. Now as for me, I went to the near camp and showed the doctor and they took care of me so that I would be safe from any kind of disease.

                                               

(28) Naw Say Say and Naw Lay Lay’s Story

Naw Say Say and Naw Lay Lay are Karen Buddhist women from a village, in Palaw Township in the Tavoy district. On the 19th February 2002 they were raped by members of the Pyithusit. They were 17 and 18 year old single young women at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape

 

Perpetrators - A group of Pyithusit (People’s Militia) from the Burman village of Maw Maid, lead by Win Nyunt

 

 

“….a group of People’s Militia from a Burman village

..........raped two Karen women...”

 

 

On 19 February 2002, Win Nyunt led a group of People’s Militia from a Burman village Maw Maid and they raped two Karen women, Naw Say Say 17 and Naw Lay Lay 18 in Pa Na Me (Duyinbinshung) forced relocation site, in Palaw Township, Mergui -Tavoy District.

 

 

(29) Naw Thu Thu’s Story

Naw Thu Thu is a Karen Buddhist woman who worked as a farmer in her village, in Kyain Township in the Doplaya district. On the 18th May 2002 she was raped in her home in front of her younger children by an SPDC soldier. She was a 45 year old married woman with five children at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape

 

Perpetrators - IB (78) led by Captain Win Zaw Oo

 

Consequences- Ongoing physical pain

 

“….So he asked his soldiers to fall in line in front of me and

asked me to point out the one. But I could not see that fellow among the soldiers…”

 

 My husband died three years ago. I was a widow with 5 children, one is a girl. I stayed at home with them and was working in the farm. At that time the SPDC troops of IB (78) led by Captain Win Zaw Oo were based in our village. But there was no village chief in our village. If there was anything that we needed help for or to talk about, there was no one who could take responsibility for us.

 

One night about 9pm one of the SPDC soldiers came to my house. It was May 18, 2002. He came to my house. At that time there were my younger son and my daughter with me. The three elder sons ran away the day when the SPDC troops came to our village. I don’t know where they are. The SPDC soldiers came into my room where I slept with my children. One of them pushed cloth into my mouth so that I could not shout or cry. The more I pulled the more he rudely raped me. But when I tried and pulled and shouted two of his friends came and called him back outside. He told me not to report to the captain. Then the next day I went to the Captain and reported what had happened to me. The Captain asked me whether I could remember the one who raped me or not. I told him that I could. So he asked his soldiers to fall in line in front of me and asked me to point out the one. But I could not see that fellow among the soldiers.

 

There was no village chief who could stand for me. After this happened I felt pain and especially in my mouth, there was pain like burning in my mouth. There was no medicine that could cure me or release me from pain. They also took almost everything from me such as household items, animals and all my belongings till I had nothing left.

 

(30) Naw Tah Tah’s Story

 

Naw Tah Tah is a Karen Buddhist young woman from a village, in Tenasserim Township in the Tavoy district. On the 7th of June2002 she was raped by two soldiers. She was 15 years old at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and beatings

 

Perpetrators - Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion (552)

 

 

“…These SPDC soldiers not only committed the rape and

beating but they looted some of the villagers’ properties

including the properties of the Church…”

 

The Burmese troops from LIB 552 arrived at Le Seit village on 7 June 2002 and arrested the family of Saw Dah Bwet and beat them. Then two of the soldiers raped his daughter Naw Tah Tah, 15.  Then nothing was reported because people were afraid of the troops. These SPDC soldiers not only committed the rape and beating but they looted some of the villagers’ properties including the properties of the Church.

 

(31) Nan Bway Poung’s Story

 

Nan Bway Poung is a Wa Buddhist young woman from a village, in Kyaukyi Township in the Nyaunglebin district. On the 10th of June 2002 she was raped by 20 SPDC soldiers. She committed suicide by drinking poison the following day after she had returned to her village. She was a 22 year old married woman at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang Rape 

 

Perpetrators - LIB 349 led by Captain Ye Htut and second in                Command Lieutenant Htin Kyaw              

 

Consequences- Suicide by poison

 

“……said to his soldiers, “You all must rape that woman, those who refuse to rape will be shot and killed……..”

 

Nan Bway Poung was a 22 year old Wa woman and she had been married to Soe Soe Naing for about a year. She lived with her husband at Pa Deh Kaw Village, Ler Doh (Kyaukyi) township, Kler Lwee Htoo (Nyaunglebin District), east of Pegu division, north west of Karen state, Burma.  On 10 June 2002, a column from SPDC troops Light Infantry Battalion 349 led by Captain Ye Htut and second in command Lieutenant Htin Kyaw captured a group of Pa Deh Kaw villagers at Klaw Pah Khi when they came to Klaw Pah Khi to look for vegetables. They were taken to the SPDC soldier's camp at Pah Klaw Hta. Soe Soe Naing and his wife Nan Bway Poung were among the captured group. Nan Bway Poung was the only woman in the group. When they arrived at Pah Klaw Hta camp, the SPDC troops released all the other villagers including Soe Soe Naing, but not his wife.

 

The next day on June 11, 2002 Nan Bway Poung was released. After she arrived back home she told her husband and her father-in-law that about 20 Burmese soldiers at Pah Klaw Hta SPDC troops' camp raped her. She said, “I was raped by the column commander Captain Ye Htut first, then he ordered his soldiers to rape me.” Captain Ye Htut also said to his soldiers, “You all must rape that woman; those who refuse to rape will be shot and killed.” Nan Bway Poung was very ashamed and said, “I am not willing to live in this world anymore.”  Then before anybody noticed, she drank poison and committed suicide the same evening she arrived back.

 

 (32) Naw Eh Thaw’s Story

Naw Eh Thaw is a Karen Buddhist woman from a village, in Kyain Hseik Kyi Township in the Doplaya district. On The 10th of September 2002 an SPDC soldier raped her in her home. She was a 25 year old married woman with one daughter at the time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Gang Rape 

 

Perpetrators - SPDC soldier Sergeant Thein Shwe, from IB (34) led by Major Maung Maung Lwin

 

Consequences-   Overwhelming pain and shock

 

“….I went with the village chief to their place and told them what happened to me. But they didn't take any action; instead they told me not to tell other people…..”

 

I was a widow and lived with a 4 year old daughter and one of my sisters. At that time the SPDC troop which was based in my village was IB (34) led by Maung Maung Lwin.  One day 6 of the SPDC soldiers came into my house and stayed for 2 days. They ate everything in my house while they were in my house without permission. Then, on 10th September 2002 at about 2 am one of them came into my place where I slept with my daughter and my 12 year old sister. Then he shut my mouth and told me that if I cried or shouted, he would kill me. And then he raped me for about half an hour. Then he went out of my house. My daughter and my sister were crying after the soldier went out. The next day I went with the village chief to their place and told them what happened to me. But they didn't take any action; instead they told me not to tell other people. I was afraid of them after I was raped because I got pain and shock which I had never faced in my life.

 

 

(33) Naw Cho Myint’s Story

Naw Cho Myint is a Karen woman from a village, in the Tavoy district. On the 6th of February 2003 she was raped and both she and her three year old daughter were murdered. She was a 23 year old married woman with a three year old daughter and was three months pregnant at this time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and Murder

 

Perpetrators -  Maung Aye - from Pyithusit People’s Militia, which is backed up and armed by SPDC troops

 

Consequences- Murder

 

“….After raping her, he slashed her to death and threw

 her three year old daughter into Pi Stream…”

 

 

On 6 February, 2003, Naw Cho Myint, returned to her deserted village, Ler Kwe Dot (Sinzwe) from the relocation area to tend her plantation. One of her villagers said that on February 6, a member of Pyithusit named Maung Aye came to village where Naw Cho Myint was in her hut. When the other villagers returned to the relocation area Naw Cho Myint was not with them. Then on the 14th of February 2003 her body was found outside the village of Htee Oo (Hpabyoke) near Kwe Dot village.  She had been raped and then slashed to death by Maung Aye. He then threw her three year old daughter into Pi Stream and took kyat 40,000 and three gold necklaces from her. Naw Cho Myit was three months pregnant when she was raped and was slashed to death said her villager.

 

          (People’s Militia or Pyithusit is a village defense force formed and backed by Burmese troops. They have committed human rights violations against the neighboring villagers such as looting, extortion, torture and other in their areas.)

 

(34) Naw Bay Po’s Story

Naw Bay Po is a Karen woman from a village in the Taungoo District. On the 7th of January 2004 she was abducted from her home with her one year old child  and raped by an SPDC soldier. She was a 38 year old married woman with five children at this time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape and death threats

 

Perpetrators - Sergeant Tin Shwe from Light Infantry Battalion 124 under the command of Captain Aung Naing Oo.

 

 

“…Along the way, Sergeant Tin Shwe raped her and told her not to tell anyone about it. If she did he would kill her…..”

 

On January 7, 2004 at about 9 pm. Sergeant Tin Shwe, forced Naw Bay Po, a 38 year old mother of 5 children to go with him to another village. Naw Bay Po took her 1 year old child with her. Along the way, Sergeant Tin Shwe raped her and told her not to tell anyone about it. If she did he would kill her.

 

 After this threat, he let her go back home. The head of the village retrieved Naw Bay Po and escorted her home. She arrived home at about 1 am.  After this she was so frightened and hurt that she could not speak or talk. She was afraid that the perpetrator would come again and kill her if she spoke. Her husband was not at home at that time, he was staying in the beatle nut orchard overnight.

 

 After about a month, on February 5, 2004, Captain Aung Naing Oo came to the village and met with the head man, the pastor and the husband of Naw Bay Po. He forced them to sign the following statement which denied that the SPDC had raped Naw Bay Po. It said the following:

 

                     1.  That no SPDC soldier raped Naw Bay Po.

                     2. When SPDC soldiers came to Naw Bay Po's house, they

                           were not carrying arms and they only asked Naw Bay Po to

                     show them the way to the other village. 

 

 

(35) Ma Yo Yo’s Story

 

Ma Yo Yo is a Karen woman from Lay Hkaw Htee, Du Paw, and Kyain Township in the Doplaya District. On the 16th February 2004 she was raped in her home when SPDC soldiers came to her village. She was a 24 year old married woman with two children at this time.

 

Human Rights Violations – Rape

 

Perpetrators - 3 Soldiers from SPDC troops of LIB (32) Sergeant Kyi Naing, Corporal Soe Hla Oo and soldier Ang Gyi

 

“…Then when he was in my house he pulled me up and raped me badly, in my house….”

 

I lived in Lay Hkaw Htee Du Paw village near Htee Hta Baw village, Kyain Township in the Doplaya District. The SPDC troops of LIB (32) were based in Htee Hta Baw village. On the 16th of February 2004, three of the SPDC soldiers of LIB (32) Sergeant Kyi Naing, Corporal Soe Hla Oo and soldier Ang Gyi came to my village which is beside the hillside.

 

When they arrived to my village one of them who is Soldier Ang Gyi came to my house. Then when he was in my house he pulled me up and raped me badly, in my house. I had no idea what to do.

 

 Then the next day I went to Sergeant Kyi Naing and reported this to him. Instead of taking action, he told me that I was a bad woman and a liar and then he slapped me two times on my face. Then he called his soldier Ang Gyi and asked about it. When Ang Gyi said, “Yes” he didn’t say or take any action against him. He just ordered me to go home. No action was taken on this case.


Data Source List for Detailed Cases

 

Case Number

Source

1

Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

2

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO)

3

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

4

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

5

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

6

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

7

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

8

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

9

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

10

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

11

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

12

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

13

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

14

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

15

Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)

16

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO)

17

Karen Information Centre (KIC), Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

18

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

19

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

20

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

21

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

22

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

23

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

24

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

25

Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department, and Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) from Blit Tavoy

26

Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department

27

Karen Information Centre (KIC), Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

28

Mergui-Tavoy Information Department and Committee for Karen Internally Displaced People (CIDKP) from Blit Tavoy

29

Karen Information Centre (KIC), Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

30

Mergui-Tavoy Information Department and Committee for Karen Internally Displaced People (CIDKP) from Blit Tavoy

31

Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) and Regional Information from Nyaunglebin District Information Centre

32

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Regional Information Centre, Doplaya District

33

Mergui-Tavoy Information Department, Blit Tavoy District Information Centre

34

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP)

35

Karen Women’s Organisation (KWO) and the Toungoo District Information Centre

 


 

Annex 1: Complete List of Rape Cases

LIST OF RAPE CASES

No.

Name

Age

Place

Date

Troops

Details

1

Ma Chit Chit

27

Azin village, Doplaya District

2/10/1988

SLORC LID (44) led by Major Ohn Myint

The troops came to her house and when they didn't see her husband one of the officers, Major Ohn Myint, raped her many times. It was at night when she was alone in her house. No one took action for that. After she was raped she got mental problems.

2

Naw Lah Lah

44

Ter Heh Pwey village, Mutraw Township, Papon District

6/12/1991

Ba Gyi from SLORC troops LIB 60 led by Captain Soe Win.

She was stabbed in the chest and raped by an SLORC soldier

3

Naw Aye Mya

32

Htee Pa Nar village Shwegun Township Thaton District

1/24/1992

A large group of SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

4

Daw Khin Aye  

32

Theinzayat village

1/24/1992

SLORC LIB 1

They were captured as porters and were  raped by the troops of SLORC  LIB 1 at night.  In daytime they had to work as porters.

5

Daw Win Hla 

42

Kyaito Township

6

Khin Khin Lay

20

Thaton District

7

Naw Paw Eh

17

Kyaito Township

8

Naw Moo Dah 

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

9

Ma Pyo

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

10

Ma Kyi Thaung

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

11

Ma Than Sein

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

12

Naw Che Che

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

13

Naw Lay Paw

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

14

Naw Bae Paw

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

15

Daw Aye Hla

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

16

Naw Gaw Paw

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

17

Naw Paw Soe

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

18

Htoo Htoo Poe

 

Htee Pa Nar village

1/24/1992

SLORC

She was gang raped by SLORC soldiers along with many other women in her village.

19

Naw Tha Shee 

30

A Village, Kyaito Township, Thaton District

10/23/1992

SLORC troops

She was captured and forced to labour as a porter for the SLORC. She was gang raped every night.

20

Naw Wah Paw

18

A Village, Kyaito Township, Thaton District

10/24/1992

SLORC troops No.1 LIB

She was captured and forced to labour as a porter for the SLORC. She was gang raped every night.

21

Naw KuLah

 

A Village, Kyaito Township, Thaton District

10/24/1992

 

She was captured and forced to labour as a porter for the SLORC. She was gang raped every night.

22

Naw Ler Paw

19

A Village, Doplaya District

10/24/1992

SLORC troops

She was forced to work as a porter for the SLORC, threatened at gunpoint and was gang raped every night.

23

Naw Say Htoo 

15

A Village, Thaton Township, Thaton District,

2/16/1993

SLORC troops

She was captured as a porter. She was gang raped at night during portering for SLORC Troops.

24

Naw Kee Soe

38

A village from Kyauki Township, Nyaunglebin District

10/6/1993

The Infantry Regiment of SLORC

This woman was captured and forced to labour for SLORC.  She was gang raped by the SLORC soldiers.  (She was asked to work for the full day and at night the troops raped her.)

25

Naw Htoo Htoo  

33

Wet la Daw village Kyaukyi Township Nyaunglebin District

2/12/1994

SLORC troops from 60 Regiment

She was interrogated and raped by Ba Kyi of SLORC

26

Naw Lay Wah

38

A village             Paan Township Paan District

11/21/1994

SLORC                99 Division

She was raped in her home. A knife was held to one side of her face and a gun to the other.

27

Naw Aw Paw

21

A village, Hlaing Bweh Township, Paan District

12/10/1994

Soe Soe from 338 Battalion commander Major Aung Khaing

She was raped and forced into "marriage" with a SLORC soldiers. Over the next three months she was beaten and psychologically tortured.

28

Naw Baw Baw  

32

A village          Hlaing Bweh Township Paan District

12/12/1994

Battalion 28 from the SLORC troops

She was abducted by SLORC soldiers to work as a forced labourer and raped.

29

Naw Sha

45

Kyo lu village, Kyautkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District.

6/3/1995

SLORC

She was raped while she was captured as a porter.

 30

Naw Chit Pya Pay

23

Kaw thay der village, Toungoo District

2/18/1996

Soldiers from SLORC troops of IB 95

She was captured and raped by SLORC troops when she and her husband went to the forest to find vegetables.

31

Naw Beh Htoo  

16

A village Doplaya District

5/15/1996

Sergeant Aung Aung from Column under LID 44 led by Ohn Myint

While she was at home about 10 pm Sergeant Aung Aung came to her house and raped her. At that time she had given birth only a month before.

32

Naw Me Me 

22

Kyain Hseit Kyi Township

Doplaya District

5/20/1996

Sergeant Shwe under Major Khin Maung Shwe

 

These two sisters stayed in their house with their parents. They were raped at night at their house while they were sleeping by SLORC soldier Sergeant Chit Shwe about 1 am.

33

Naw De De 

19

34

Naw Ywa Moo

22

Maw keh tha per ko Kyautkyi township Nyaunglebin District

3/9/1997

Troops of SLORC LIB 439 and IB 26

She and her friends were raped while they were in relocated area by troops of SLORC LIB 439 and IB 26.

35

Naw Paw Sha

14

Poe Yi village

3/20/1997

SLORC LIB 208

Sergeant Tway Ngeh, Under the command of Major Tay Aung

Both of them were raped by SLORC LIB 208

Sergeant Tway Ngeh, Under the command of Major Tay Aung .

 

 

 

 

36

Naw Dina

35

Kya in seik kyi Township Doplaya District

37

Naw Paw Lah

35

Galakee  Kya in seikyi  Township Paan District

3/23/1997

Company 1 commander from SLORC LIB 205 Capt. Thein Aung and his whole company

Both of them were gang raped, and shot to dead and the naked bodies of them were left at the edge of the forest by Company 1 commander from SLORC  LIB 205 Capt. Thein Aung and his whole company .

38

Naw Tha Bit

17

                                                                         

39

Naw Ta Kaw  

 

Worrow Township

4/19/1997

 

She was raped one month after giving birth

40

Naw Soe Mya

-

Lar Aw Kor village Thaton Township Thaton District

 

SLORC LIB 534 Led Major Aung Than

She was kidnapped and raped for two days badly by SLORC LIB 534 led by Major Aung Than.

41

Naw Tha Ko

-

Plaw Poe Htoo village, Thaton Township, Thaton District

10/22/1997

Mying Oo of DKBA lackey of SLORC

She was raped and brutally killed by Mying Oo of DKBA, lackey of SLORC.

42

Naw Htee Paw

22

Ta Lay Ko village

12/22/1997

IB/LIB 280/285

Both of them were raped and killed by SPDC IB/LIB 280/285 who took away the 14 year old daughter and 8 year old son of Naw Hsi Hsi Thart.

43

Naw Ta Mla

35

Tavoy District

44

Naw Shwe Myint  

43

Azin village Kya in seikyi Township Doplaya District

12/26/1997

IB 62, Medic San Htay led by LID (44) Colonel Aung Khaing

She was raped by one of the SPDC soldiers, who performed oral sex and other acts.

45

Naw Kay  Kay

23

Kaw thay der Toungoo District

2/18/1998

LIB 59 Soldier

Gang raped and killed.

46

Naw Myint Myint

20

A village, Kya In Seik Gyi Township Doplaya District

2/20/1998

SPDC IB 355 led by Column Com. Saw Aung and Second Column Com. Aung Lwin from Column (2)

She was gang raped badly while she went outside her house not so far to find firewood, by 4 SPDC soldiers.

 

47

Naw Pee Eh

20

Ba  Hat

4/7/1998

LIB 234 Officer

Raped and killed.

48

Maw Lweh Htoo

19

No Pa Doe, Thaton District

5/14/1998

LIB 546 Officer

Raped her and took her and put her into jail in Toungoo

49

Naw Htoo Lweh

25

A village

Yee Township

Doplaya District

 

5/23/1998

SPDC, LID (207) led by Battalion Second in Commander Myint Thein and friends

 

 

 

They were raped by the SPDC troops Commander Myint Thein. Naw Htoo Lweh was pregnant.

50

Naw Eh Mu  

29

51

Ma Sein Sein

19

52

Ma Kyi Aye

22

53

Naw Lay Lay

50

Shwe Dee village, Nyaunglebin District

6/28/1998

LIB 60, Capt. Nyi Nyi Thun

Raped her and then asked her 18,000 Kyats and released her.

54

Naw Tha Baw

39

Shwe Dee village, Nyaunglebin District

6/28/1998

LIB 60, Capt. Nyi Nyi Thun

Raped her in front of her husband and shot both the husband and the wife to death. It was after her 14 days of delivered her baby.

55

Ma Thanda

23

Ma U Bin

6/29/1998

SPDC LIB 250, Officer Maung Maung Thein

Raped her and released her and now the woman is in the one of the villages along the border.

56

Naw Lu Lu

16

Htit Baw village, Pupan District

7/20/1998

LIB 230 Officer

Raped her and shot a bullet into her vagina to death.

57

Naw San San Aye

19

Noe padoe village Pa-an District

8/17/1998

4 soldiers from SPDC LIB 546 led by Major Tin Aye

She was raped by 4 soldiers from SPDC LIB 546 led by Major Tin Aye while she was at home.

58

Naw Aye Thein

35

Noe padoe village Pa-an District

8/17/1998

4 soldiers from SPDC LIB 546 led by Major Tin Aye

She was raped by 4 soldiers from SPDC LIB 546 led by Major Tin Aye while she was at home.

59

Naw Meh Meh

25

Kler po

9/23/1998

Capt. Thin Aung

She was raped by Capt. Thin Aung .

60

Naw Hsar Paw

45

Du Soe Pwe Plaw

10/8/1998

LIB 552 Soldiers

Raped and killed.

61

Naw Ler Bweh

20

62

Daw San Dar

43

Aung Chan Thar,

10/13/1998

LIB 59

Raped and then shot her to death.

63

Ma Thi Da

16

Nyaunglebin District

Capt. Aung Soe

64

Naw Neh Lay

18

Pw Wa Plaw, Mergui District

10/13/1998

LIB 432, Capt. Tin Aung

Raped and killed.

65

Naw K’ Paw

19

K'nye Chaw

11/4/1998

LIB 42 Aung Than

Raped and killed.

66

Naw Men Tu

15

Tha Dwe Ko Village, Hlaing Bweh township Paan district

1/6/1999

DKBA Battalion 555 Maung Pauk Kyaing and 2 others

 

67

Naw Hsar Paw

23

 Kyain Hseit Township, Doplaya District

1/9/1999

Kyaw Kyaw Win Lt. Colonel LID 22, LIB 205, Aung Gyi, Colonel Battalion 2nd in Command, Pay Than Win, Captain Company Commander,  Kyaw Lwin Bo 2nd Company Commander. 

She was captured as a porter and asked to carry heavy things. At night she was raped by 5 of the soldiers,  gang raped for 10 days. During portering for the troops she was tortured and asked to carry foods for the troops.

68

Naw Sot Poe

25

Ta wah law kee village Toungoo District

2/15/1999

A sergeant and a soldier from SPDC LIB 55 led by Company Commander Maung Cho

This women was raped by a sergeant and a soldier from SPDC LIB 55 led by Company commander Maung Cho

69

Naw Yin Poe

16

Toe mae kee village at the road side Papon District

3/25/1999

Battalion Commander Aung Win of SPDC LIB 434 and No. 1 Company Commander of Column 1 Kyaw Khin Than 

gang raped.

70

Naw o' Sar

38

Paung Aw Taw

Nyaunglebin District

4/4/1999

Capt Aung Zaw Myo, Special troops

Raped and killed.

71

Naw Plot Soe

40

72

Naw Kaw Kaw

32

Hay Tah Weh, Nyaunglebin District

4/15/1999

Capt Aung Zaw Myo. Special troops

Raped and killed.

73

Naw Heh Say

25

Shwe Kah Mang,  Nyaunglebin District

4/25/1999

Capt. Aung Zaw Myo Special troops

Raped and killed.

74

Naw Bway

21

Toe mae kee village at the road side Papon District

5/4/1999

Battalion Commander Aung Win of SPDC LIB 434 and No. 1 Company Commander of Column 1 Kyaw Khin Than

She was raped at the road side by the Battalion Commander Aung Win of SPDC LIB 434 and No. 1 Company Commander of Column 1 Kyaw Khin Than as a gang rape three times.

75

Naw Bway Paw

23

A Village Kyain Township, Doplaya District

5/15/1999

LIB 210   Battalion Commander Mg Mg Ohn

She was raped by 8 soldiers of LIB 210, Battalion Commander, Mg Mg Ohn in her house. They tied her husband. Her baby was born dead. 

76

Naw Ku Kya Boe

18

Bananer village Nyaunglebin District

6/2/1999

Shan Bu leader of SPDC from          Sa Sa Sa unit

The SPDC troops Shan Bu raped her at her house.

77

Naw Ku Paw

17

Mat Taw Ku village Nyaunglebin District

6/5/1999

Shan Bu leader of SPDC from          Sa Sa Sa unit

The SPDC troops Shan Bu raped her at home.

78

Naw Teh Pah

20

Ta Po Kee village

7/3/1999

LIB 101 Section 4 4 Capt Moe Kyaw, Kar Tay

 All were raped and killed.

79

Naw Way Poe

23

Naw Way Poe was five months pregnant; she was shot dead in her stomach.

80

Naw Ner Kaw

16

 

 

81

Naw Dee Gay

9

82

Naw Nay Thaw

 

 

 

 

 

83

Naw Eh Ber

32

Lek  Kaw Wa, Nyaunglebin District

 

7/22/1999

 

LIB 440 Capt. Thin Nyaut

 

Raped and killed.

 

84

Naw Hser Bleh

 

85

Ma Hsan Thi

44

Par Klu village   Paan District

8/8/1999

SPDC LIB 102 Htun Aung a company Commander

Was raped by SPDC LIB 102 Htun Aung a company Commander, she was forced by Htun Aung to sleep with him every night and was raped every night while she was there.

86

Naw Eh Eh

46

Nga yant in village Thanton District

4/9/1999

 Nyi Nyi Aye SPDC IB 92 Intelligent officer of the column

A military Column from the SPDC IB 92 came to the village, and one of the intelligence officers of the column Nyi Nyi Aye raped her before they departed.

87

Naw K' Haw

32

 

12/24/1999

LIB 342, 55, 24

Gang raped.

88

Naw Ku Ku

18

 

 

 

Raped and killed.

89

Naw Bay Be

33

90

Naw Win Win

16

Kyauk bilu village Doplaya District

3/22/2000

SPDC LIB 581 troops

 

 

They were Gang raped by SPDC LIB 581 troops

Commander Tin Oo Lwin and his troops.

 

91

Naw Leh Mu Paw

17

92

Naw Ta Eh Say

20

93

Naw Kweh Po

18

Peh Leh No village Thaton Township Thaton District

6/26/2000

SPDC LIB 3, Lieutenant Win Naing and Intelligence officer under company commander Kyaw Tin Oo

Was raped at 12 pm. by SPDC LIB 3, Lieutenant Win Naing and Intelligence officer under company commander Kyaw Tin Oo.

94

Naw Hser Bu

20

Pyaw Pyaw

12/20/2000

SPDC LIB 246 column 2, Zaw Myint

She was raped by SPDC troops led by SPDC LIB 246 column 2, Zaw Myint.

95

Ma Pyu Pyu  

18

Kyet San Pyin village, Tavoy Township,  Tavoy District

1/28/2001

Thein Myint Zaw, Battalion 104

On January 28 evening she arrived to a Burma Army border check point at Thuka, opposite to Thailand's Kanchanaburi Province. Lt.Thein Myint Zaw a Company Commander in that camp summoned her in his hut and said that he needed to check her. Then he raped her badly. He let her go the next morning.

96

Naw Eh Thee  

25

Chan Tha Oo village

Tavoy  District

7/25/2001

Lieutenant Col. Zaw Lwin from No.2 Column, Battalion Commander of IB(17)

These two women were raped and stabbed to death by bayonet

97

Naw Way Way  

20

98

Naw Hser Lah

20

A village, Toungoo District

8/3/2001

LIB 124 Officer, Thura Maung, Ba yee Naw troop.

Raped her on her way home from Than Taung Kyi section 5 and section 2 killed her after they raped and took a golden necklace, sarong and watch from her.

99

Naw Paw

18

Pyo village Thaton District

10/20/2001

K'bar Min Moe Heain from DKBA troops led by Moe Kyow (aka) Pah Nee Thow

She was a teacher from Pyo village. While she was in her house, K'bar Min Moe Heain from DKBA troops led by Moe Kyow (aka) Pah Nee Thow raped her in her house.

100

Naw Pre Pre Po  

16

Kaw Kareit Township Doplaya District

2/11/2002

SPDC IB 10 under LID 88

they were taken outside the village, tied with rope and both gang raped .No action was taken against the troops committing the rapes.

101

Naw Cho  Cho

18

 

 

102

Naw Shine Htoo

17

Pana mi village

Tavoy District

2/12/2002

SPDC militia Win Nyunt

SPDC militia Win Nyunt raped both of them.

103

Naw Tha Kee

18

104

Naw Say Say  

17

Palaw Township Tavoy District

2/19/2002

Win Nyunt led a group of Pyithusit  People's militia from the Burman village of Maw Maid                

On  19 February  2002,  Win Nyunt led a group of People's Militia from a Burman village Maw Maid and raped these  two Karen women

105

Naw Lay Lay   

18

106

Naw Thu Thu 

45

A  village,  Kya in Township, Doplaya District

5/18/2002

IB 78 Let by Capt. Win Zaw Oo 

She was raped in her house at night 9 pm by IB 78 Let by Capt. Win Zaw Oo. 

107

Naw Leh Kee

 

Ka Toe Hta village Doplaya District

6/8/2002

SPDC IB 77 Troops.

She was gang raped by SPDC IB 77 Troops

108

Nan Bway Poung  

22

A  village, Kyaukyi Township, Nyaunglebin  District

6/10/2002

LIB(349) led by Captain Ye Htut and second in command lieutenant Htin Kyaw

She was raped by Capt. Yeh Htut first and then he ordered his troops to rape her. After she was released she told people about that and then she drunk poison and killed herself because of her pain and shame.

109

Naw Thay Mya

50

Po keh tha village Papon District

6/14/2002

Sergeant Poe Tha Gay from LIB 111 temporary Battalion Commander Aung Min Lwin of the SPDC troops of LID 33

She was raped by sergeant Poe Tha Gay from LIB 111 temporary Battalion Commander Aung Min Lwin of the SPDC troops of LID 33.

110

Naw Tah Tah

15

A village, Tenasserim Township,  Tavoy District

7/6/2002

Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion 552

Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion 552 raped her and beat her.

111

Naw Eh Thaw  

25

A village, Kya in seik gyi Township, Doplaya District

9/10/2002

SPDC IB(34) led by Major Mg Mg Lwin (Sergeant Thein Shwe)

She was a widow and stayed with her children. 6 of the SPDC troops came to her house and stayed for 2 days. Then one night  about 2 am. one of the soldiers came to her place where she slept with her children and her sister and forced her to have sex with him. She refused but the soldier was strong and then he raped her about half an hour and then went out from her house.

 

112

Naw  Seh Mu

21

Ka Lo village

Kyaukyi Township

Nyaunglebin District

10/13/2002

Boe Hla Min and his soldiers from SPDC

While they were finding vegetables in the forest they met with the soldiers. Then these SPDC troops led by Hla Min captured all of them and raped them by the river. After raping the women they shot to death Naw Pre. then two of them escaped from there. Again they shot at Naw Law La and she was wounded.

113

Naw Sei Paw

20

114

Naw Eh Lar

24

115

Ma Myint Thein

28

Thin Dan Quarter, Kyautkyi Township Nyaunglebin District.

10/21/2002

Guerrilla troops of SPDC which stayed in Kyautkyi town led by officer Hla Min

She was raped by guerilla troops of SPDC which stayed in Kyautkyi township led by officer Hla Min while she was at her house and working.

116

Naw K'done

20

Paw autaw village, Kyautkyi Township Nyaunglebin District.

10/23/2002

A guerrilla officer Sat La Shwe from SPDC troops who stayed in Kyautkyi town.

She was raped by a guerilla  officer Sat La Shwe from SPDC troops who stayed in Kyautkyi town near Koe Poe of Bway Ko motor road.

117

Naw  Cho  Myint  

23

A village, Tavoy District

2/6/2003

Pyithusit Maung Aye from the SPDC troops.

She was 3 months pregnant and was raped by Maung Aye.  After raping her, he slashed her to death and threw her three year old daughter into Pi Stream and took kyat 40000 and three gold necklaces from her .

118

Naw Than Aye

19

Sha Kyay village, Shwe Kyi Town Nyaunglebin District.

3/8/2003

LIB 350 from SPDC; Sergeant Chan Than and 2 of his friends under the control of Bo That Khaing.

She was gang-raped by SPDC Sergeant Chan Tha and 2 of his friends under the control of Bo That Khaing, while she was at her farm in her house

119

Naw He Nay Shee

 

K'neh lay village Doplaya District

4/13/2003

The SPDC troops of LIB 343 Column 2 Commander Lin Oo and one of his soldiers.

She was raped by the SPDC troops of LIB 343 Column 2 Commander Lin Oo and one of his soldiers.

120

Naw Baw

38

K'neh lay village Doplaya District

4/13/2003

The SPDC troops of LIB 343 Column 2 Commander Lin Oo and one of his soldiers.

She was raped by the SPDC troops of LIB 343 Column 2 Commander Lin Oo and one of his soldiers at 6 pm in her hut. She has 4 children.

121

Naw Mu Ku

17

 Spadaykee village, Pa-an District

8/6/2003

Padawbo and Mooe Gyo of DKBA, backed by SPDC

Troops of DKBA came into the village of Sepadaykee and shot at Ta Ku Ku's hut and  looted everything from him and captured him. Then they raped his daughter Naw Mu Ku and shot her to death on August 6th in 2003.

122

Naw Kyin Shwe

58

Htee Swa village, Nabu township, District

10/4/2003

LIB 549 Sergeant Nay Win and friends, under the control of Battalion commander Myo Tin

She was raped by the SPDC troops of LIB 549 Sergeant Nay Win and friends, under the control of Battalion Commander Myo Tin, who knocked her in both eyes, raped her and killed her near their camp.

123

Ma Yo Yo

24

Doplaya, District

16/2/2004

3 SPDC soldier, LIB 32 Sergeant Kyi Naing, Corporal Soe Hla Oo and soldier Ang Gyi

She was raped in her home when SPDC soldiers came to her village

124

Naw Bay Po

38

Taungoo District

1/7/2004

Sergeant Tin Shwe, LIB 124 under the command of Captain Aung Naing Oo

She was abducted from her home and raped. Her 1 year old child was with her.

125

Naw Haw Thay

17

Paan District

1/8/2004

SPDC soldier, LIB 357 under the command of Captain Khin Maung Htay

She was raped by an SPDC soldier. But is too terrified to provide more details.

 

 


Annex 2: KWO- Aims of the organization

 

Karen Women’s Organisation

 

The Karen Women's Organization (KWO) was formed in 1949 with the aim of supporting and organizing women's contribution to the Karen struggle for freedom, democracy and equality. Due to effects of the civil war in Burma, the KWO activities and its development were restricted.

In 1985, the KWO held a congress and reorganized from the central to the grass roots level. KWO is a founding member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), formed by women's organizations from the Burma border areas in 1999. The KWO is happy to participate actively within the WLB to work towards greater unity between ethnic minorities.

The majority of KWO’s work is carried out in refugee camps and inside Burma in IDP areas. KWO has a committee in each district, which is assisted and supported by three Resource Centres. Staffed by representatives from the districts, the Resource Centres provide essential support for the Camp Committees including proposal writing for program funding, facilitation of communication between camp and IDP committees, donors and local NGO’s, and a venue for trainings and workshops. This year, KWO has focused on improving the documentation skills of its members. Through various workshops, such as International Criminal Court law and fact-finding training, members learnt how to record, interview and verify the testimonies of women from IDP areas and the camps. By gathering evidence of state violence against the most vulnerable members of the community, KWO is able to inform and lobby the local and international community for change. In turn, the Resource Centres report to the KWO Executive Committee, who meet quarterly to review progress and discuss future plans.

Today, KWO has over 30,000 members including women from IDP areas inside Burma, the refugee camps along the border, and from overseas, in countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany, and USA.

 

Objectives of the KWO

• Assist women in the endeavour to be free from all forms of oppression.

• Promote and empower women in all spheres of life, including education and general living standards.

• Encourage women to participate in the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality.

• Develop women's knowledge, ability and skills, including political and organisational skills.

• Achieve rights of women and equal status with men.

• Maintain and promote Karen culture and tradition.


 

HOW TO CONTACT KWO:

 

KWO Central

PO Box 19 

Mae Sariang 58110 

Mae Hong Son Province 

Thailand

E. Mail: kwo@loxinfo.co.th 

 

 

KWO South

PO Box 60

Mae Sot 63110

Tak Province

Thailand

krcwdg@loxinfo.co.th

 

www.womenofburma.org


Annex 3: Map of Karen State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 



[1] Naw Lay Wah’s story, case #13

[2] The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) was formerly known as the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC). The name was changed to SPDC in 1997.

[3] This report documented the cases of rape of Shan women by the military regime of Burma from 1996 – 2001.

[4] The Four Cuts Policy has been implemented by the military junta since the 1960’s.  The policy aims to cut access and supplies of food, funds, recruits and information to insurgent groups by systematically terrorizing the civilian population in ethnic national areas.

[5] The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defined the term “violence against women” as “any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life”. The CEDAW Committee (General Recommendation 19) reaffirmed that violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately, is a form of discrimination against women.

[6] Many of these acts arguably also violate the Geneva Conventions (1949) and their Optional Protocols (1977) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002).

[7] E/CN.4/1995/42. She also highlighted the case of Valesquez Rodriguez Case Honduras, 4 Inter.Am.Ct. HR (Ser.C.), 1988./  where States were also held responsible for the organization of the government apparatus and structures of public power in order to make them capable of ensuring free and full enjoyment of human rights.

[8] Marshall, Harry Ignatius, The Karen People of Burma: A Study in Anthropology and Ethnology, White Lotus Press 1997 (reprinted from the 1922 edition with a new foreword).

[9] The military regime classifies its level of control in an area according to colours: Areas completely controlled by the military regime are called "white areas"; areas accessible to both the military troops and the resistance groups are called "brown areas"; and areas controlled by the resistance groups are called "black areas". 

[10] According to figures provided by the CIDKIP as at February  2004 there were over 300,000 internally displaced Karen people inside Burma. Of these almost 150,00 are living in the relocation area and cannot be reached or aided by the CIDKIP.

[11] According to figures provided by the CIDKIP as at February 2004 there were 120,000 registered and unregistered refugees living in the camps in Thailand. Those who are currently unregistered have to date been denied the opportunity to register. In addition to the Karen refugees living in the camps there are over 600,000 who work as migrant workers. Of these only 400,000 are registered.

[12] Nan Bway Poung’s  Story.  See case number 31

[13] Asian Legal Resource Centre, “Specific contexts of sexual torture and CIDT: Armed conflict, Police/Penal”, March 2004,  http://www.alrc.net/mainfile.php/torture/151

[14] Arcel, Genefke, Kastrup 2001, cited in ALRC, “Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of women” Psychological consequences – Introduction”, March 2004,  http://www.alrc.net/mainfile.php/torture/147/

[15] Nan Bway Poung’s Story. See case number 31

[16] Naw Bway Paw’s  Story.  See case number 24

 

[17] Naw Hsar Paw’s Story. See case 23.

[18] Ma Pyu Pyu’s Story. See case 25

[19] Naw Eh Thaw’s Story. See case 32

[20] Naw Myint Myint’s Story. See case 21.

[21] Case 17

[22] Case 20

[23] Naw Baw Baw’s Story. Case number 15.

[24] ALRC, “Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of women” Psychological consequences – Introduction”, March 2004,  http://www.alrc.net/mainfile.php/torture/147/

[25] Naw  Bway Poung’s Story. See case 31.

[26] Ma Chit Chit’s story. See case 1.

[27] ALRC, “Sexual Torture and CIDT of women by State-agents”, March 2004, http://www.alrc.net/mainfile.php/torture/150/

[28] Naw Wah Paw’s Story. See case 9.

[29] Naw Tha Shee’s Story. See case 8.

[30] Naw Lay Wah’s Story. See case 13.

[31] Naw Lah Pwey’s Story. See case 2

[32] Naw Say Htoo’s Story. See case 11

[33] Naw Wah Paw’s Story. See case 9

[34] Naw Ler Paw’s Story. See case 10

[35] Naw Htoo Htoo’s Story. See case 12

[36] Naw Ta Kaw’s Story. See case 19