4. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Myanmar has not ratified any international covenants that would offer protection against torture, nor has it domestic laws to do likewise. Ample evidence collected by independent agencies working from outside the country indicates that the use of torture in Myanmar is particularly prevalent in military intelligence detention centres and prisons, and in areas of the country subjected to counter-insurgency operations. In the later case, rape and other forms of sexual abuse have been employed systemically as an act of war against populations in remote regions. Regards the former, to date the military government has extended limited cooperation only to the International Committee of the Red Cross for occasional visits to prisons and detention centres. Sadly, the Government of Myanmar remains largely oblivious to international attempts at scrutiny and reform. (Written statement submitted to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights 58th session by the Asian Legal Resource Centre).
Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Burma has been used by the military government in Burma for more than 40 years and has been particularly documented since the 1988 pro-democracy uprising when the use of torture increased. Although articles 330 and 331 of the Burmese Penal Code (1957) prohibit torture and ill-treatment during interrogation it is personnel associated with the regime that are given the power to torture during interrogation with impunity.
According to the 2000 Amnesty International Report, The Institution of Torture, “Torture and ill-treatment have become institutionalized in Myanmar. They are practiced by the army as part of counter-insurgency activities; by prison guards; and by the police.” Members of the army, MIS, police, USDA, and armed groups aligned with the SPDC such as the DKBA use torture to punish and degrade (break) those who have been detained on suspicion of anti-government activities, including political prisoners and villagers living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict. Torture has the dual effect of both being a method used to obtain information on anti-government and rebel activities, as well as a way of putting terror in the hearts of the population to keep them from participating in anti-government activities.
Torture is used to extort money, also to give punishment for failure to obey orders, failure to pay fees and taxes or isresult of prejudice.
4.2 Torture During Detention
Political activists in opposition to the government often face torture while in detention. Torture is used to punish them and to compel them to cooperate with interrogators. Political prisoners face both physical and emotional torture, often during prolonged periods of detention after the initial arrest while they are isolated from public scrutiny. Many of these prisoners are forced to sign false confessions admitting to anti-SPDC activities or implicating colleagues or friends in such activities. Some are forced to sign documents stating that they have been well-treated during interrogation and in jail. Others say that they have been held incommunicado following torture to allow time for the physical signs of torture to heal before they are seen by anyone.
At least six departments of the SPDC’s security forces have been implicated in torture and ill treatment by former detainees, including political prisoners. The six departments are as follows: (1) SPDC’s army of Phythu Tatmadaw (People’s Defense Forces); (2) The People’s Police Forces; (3) the Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI); (4) the Special Investigations Department (SID); (5) the Criminal Investigation Department (CID); and (6) the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). The activities of DDSI, SID, CID and BSI are coordinated by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), under the direct control of the SPDC. The DDSI is also commonly known as the MIS or Military Intelligence Service and is the agency most frequently identified as inflicting torture during interrogation, Since 1988, the units under its control (MI-1, MIS-1, MI-3, etc.) have nearly doubled from 14 in 1989 to 23 in 1991. Lt-Gen. Khin Nyunt, Secretary of the SPDC, is the head of the DDSI.
Torture In Prison
The MI personnel systematically and interrogate detainees in order to get information and false confessions. The abuse and torture include, among other things: electrocution, sleep denial, forcing people to stand or squat in uncomfortable positions, such as if one were sitting on a motorcycle, for long periods of time, rolling iron or wood rods along a person’s shins, pouring water over a person’s head covered in plastic, forcing them to kneel on sharp stones or pieces of glass, hanging them by the arms and feet and putting bullets or pencils between the fingers and then squeezing them together. In addition, some women also suffer from sexual abuse, such as having some or all of their clothes removed during interrogation. The MI personnel use both physical and psychological methods of torture. When the activists or suspected persons arrive at an interrogation center, the MI first breaks down their confidence and morale... They are kept in the interrogation center for one to three weeks during which there is non-stop interrogation by rotating teams of MI. Most are not allowed to sleep and usually not fed or given any water. When they are sent to prison, they are beaten at the prison gate by the prison staff. They can face punishment in prison if they complain about the lack of water and poor quality of food, stage a hunger strike or are found holding small amounts of paper. Moreover, they are kept in iron shackles and kept in tiny cells for months and are not allowed to bathe, have family visits etc. The interim report to the Fifty-fifth Session of the General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma said: “Torture or other forms of inhuman treatment of political detainees are believed to be routine, especially during initial interrogation. Convicted prisoners are also reported to be subjected to torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for breaches of prison regulations. “ (Source: AAPPB, found at http://www.aappb.org/report3.html)
SPDC uses many forms of beating to intimidate and torture prisoners and detainees. Soldiers use their fists, combat boots, rifle butts, leather-coated pipes, wooden sticks, sticks made from three interlaced pieces of cane, solid bamboo sticks about three feet in length, and hard plastic water pipes to beat their victims.
Beating are designed to physically harm and humiliate victims. The following are a few typical types of beatings: the prisoner is beaten while he/she stands and embraces a post and both hands are held firmly by another person; the prisoner is beaten while laying prone on the ground; the prisoner is beaten while being forced to stand with both legs chained; the prisoner is beaten while being forced to crawl along the ground; the prisoner is shackled, a long iron bar is placed in between their legs, and they are forced to crawl while being beaten; and prisoners are beaten while being forced to do continuous squat-jumps. Authorities do not hold back and they strike victims in the face, chest, abdomen, and back. They also jump on the backs of prisoners while they are being forced to crawl on the ground. Prisoners routinely receive serious injuries from beatings, including fractured skulls, broken bones, and paralysis.
An iron rod, about 1 1/2 to 2 feet long is often placed horizontally between the shackled legs of prisoners in solitary confinement, forcing them to stand or lay with their legs astride. Prisoners are locked in tiny cells during their confinement. Normally, small chamber pots are placed in each cell. The pots are never emptied, so the smell becomes unbearable and the cell damp and wet. In the worst case of solitary confinement, prisoners are forced to stand with both arms tied above their head; they are forced to urinate and defecate while standing. Small daily food rations of soup made from rice are slid through the iron bars from outside of cell. No blankets or mats are provided; prisoners are forced to sleep on the concrete floor. Most days, prisoners are taken out of the cells, forced to stand in the standard position, with their legs splayed apart, and beaten. Solitary confinement usually lasts for at least one month and may continue to three months. In some cases, political prisoners are forced to remain in solitary confinement indefinitely.
4.3 Torture During Forced Portering and Forced Labor
Throughout 2001, civilians continued to be conscripted or arbitrarily seized as porters to carry heavy loads for SPDC army battalions. Porters are rarely given enough food, rest or medical attention for illness or injury. Porters that complain about exhaustion or ill-treatment, or who cannot keep up, are regularly verbally and physically abused. Porters who are too sick or exhausted to continue are sometimes beaten or shot and then left in the jungle for dead.
At forced labor sites across the country, such as for the construction of roads or army camps, villagers are routinely mistreated by SPDC personnel supervising them. In addition to long hours, not enough food or rest, those who are not thought to be working hard enough face physical abuse, such as beatings with a bamboo sticks or hands. Verbal abuse is a common complaint of those who have experienced forced labor. As a result of ILO pressure on Burma, the recent trend has been to increase the number of prisoner laborers and prisoner porters to take the place of civilian forced porters. See the chapter on forced labor for more information about forced portering and forced labor conditions.
4.4 Torture of Villagers in Areas of Ethnic Armed Conflict
“They never caught us, but they saw us and fired guns at us one or two times. Whenever they saw the smoke from villagers’ cookfires, they fired big weapons [mortars] many times to hurt the villagers. If they see you they shoot, they don’t capture you. If they are close they shoot with small arms, and if it is farther they shoot at you with big weapons.” - “Saw Toh Wah” (M, 32), internally displaced villager from K— village, Lu Thaw township, Karen State (Interview #39, 1/00) (Source: KHRG, Flight, Hunger and Survival: Repression and Displacement in the Villages of Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts, October 2001)
Torture, beatings and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment are commonplace in areas of ethnic armed insurgency. Villagers are routinely detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured arbitrarily on suspicion of contact with opposition groups. Torture and beating of villagers often goes hand in hand with other human rights abuses, such as extortion, looting and destruction of property. The fear of physical injury deprives villagers of their livelihood as they are kept from traveling in areas where SPDC soldiers are present. In conflict zones SPDC soldiers are confiscate farmland and put curfews and other restrictions on the movements of villagers. Villagers caught breaking curfew or traveling in areas they have been restricted from face, such as confiscated farmland, can be accused of helping rebel groups and tortured, beaten and/or killed. In addition, soldiers often arbitrarily shoot into paddy huts and villager’s homes without first checking to see if they are occupied, often resulting in injury and death. A partial list of these incidents can be found at the end of this chapter.
According to Karen Human Rights Group, “Occasionally the soldiers are able to capture villagers whom they have surprised or wounded and decide not to kill them. After being captured, these villagers are usually beaten and tied up, then taken back to a relocation site or Army camp. Nooses are sometimes placed around their necks which are then used by the soldiers to pull them along. Once they arrive at the relocation site or an Army camp the villagers are sometimes released after interrogation, but other times they are detained for a while longer and may be tortured. A villager from Dweh Loh township who was captured in 2000 related to KHRG how he was locked up in a pen for pigs, kicked, beaten, shot, and had water forced down his throat. He was kept like that for more than a month, and by the time he arrived home his wife was pale and had wasted away to skin and bone because she was unable to find enough food without her husband. Those who are told to remain in the relocation site may be provided with a one-time handout of rice and then left to fend for themselves. No other assistance is given, even though some of them have been captured only after being wounded and unable to escape. A 70 year old man from Dweh Loh township told KHRG how he had been shot in the arm and then captured with his children and grandchildren by the soldiers in early 2000. His bag was taken and money was stolen from him and his children and grandchildren. They were taken to a relocation site, where he was put in mediaeval-style leg stocks and left like that overnight despite his age and his wound. In another incident in 2000, the SPDC soldiers shot dead a villager and then took his three young children back to the relocation site. It is not known what happened to the children.” (Source: KHRG, Flight, Hunger and Survival: Repression and Displacement in the Villages of Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts, October 2001)
Torture of Village Leaders by LIB No. 343 in Mon State
According to the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, in March and April 2001, after a Mon splinter group activated around the southern part of Ye Township area, the Burmese local battalion, LIB No. 343 tortured some villagers on suspicion of being rebel-supporters, detained them and asked ransom for their release. Since March, Mon troops from a splinter group have launched more military activities in the southern part of Ye Township to collect funds from civilians. These Mon troops traveled near Mon villages and the Burmese troops from LIB No. 343 instructed the villagers to inform them about the activities of rebel troops to their nearest base. If the village headmen or villagers failed to inform on the rebels they would be punished. On April 13, a group of Mon splinter troops went into Kyoneka-nya village, in the southern part of Ye township, and the head of that village delayed in informing LIB No. 343 troops because the time was quite late. At 7:00 a.m., LIB No. 343 troops led by Cap. Lin Oo, went to the village and arrested two village headmen, Nai Uu, Chairman of the village and Nai Thar Aye, section leader, for their delay in informing them about the activities of Mon troops. They then brought these two village headmen and detained them in their military outpost in Khaw-za village. The soldiers tortured them and accused them of being rebel-supporters. The soldiers believed the headmen refused to cooperate with them and tortured them to say that they would cooperate with the Burmese Army in the future. The soldiers threatened them that if they did not agree to cooperate with them, they would kill them. In the end, after the headmen promised that they would cooperate with Burmese Army, the commander, Cap. Lin Oo demanded 400,000 Kyat as fine or a ransom for their release. After the families and other villagers helped pay the ransom, the soldiers released them. A similar case also happened in March in the same village. In the second week of March 2001, LIB No. 343 troops also accused and arrested one village section leader, Nai San Kae of being a rebel supporter. They accused him of helping the splinter group collect funds in the surrounding areas. They brought him to Ye Town and detained him. In detention, when they interrogated him, they also beat him severely. After he promised he would cooperate with Burmese Army, they demanded 100,000 Kyat for ransom and then released him. In southern part of Ye township, because of LIB No. 343 troops’ mistreatment against the villagers, many people in the area have also been displaced and moved to more safer area to avoid torture and other mistreatment. (Source: HURFOM, Mon Forum, May 2001 Issue)
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment – partial list of incidents 2001
On December 23, 2001, soldiers from SPDC IB-6 came to Paw-gi-khee village, Bilin Township, Karen State and shot to death Mae-naw-theh village secretary without reason. These troops then entered the house of Tee Hsa Doo and looted money and household items, and destroyed all the paddy they found. They then seized and tortured Saw Aung Htun (m),age 30, son of Tee Hsa Doo and took from him a wristwatch and a pair of shoes. (Source: KIC)
On December 5, 2001, 2 brothers from Nam Kun village in Kun Pu village tract, Murng-Nai township, were arrested by SPDC troops from LIB 530 and beaten and tortured in Saai Khaao village. Zaai Zaam La, aged 25 and Zaai Thun Kyaw, aged 21, were arrested by a passing SPDC military column of LIB530 outside their village and taken to Saai Khaao village in the same area. At Saai Khaao, the 2 men were accused of being Shan soldiers and tied up and tortured by the SPDC troops. Plastic bags were put over their heads and they were beaten and water was poured into their stomachs, and finally they were hung by their hands to a tree all night. The 2 men lived with their sister and parents at Nam Kun village and when their sister got the news of their arrest the next morning, she went to plead with the SPDC troops for their release, stating that they were not Shan soldiers but were just ordinary villagers who as young men helped look after their household work. Soon after the two were released. (Source: SHRF)
On November 20, 2001, SPDC troops from LIB316 beat up a Lahu villager at Kaeng Laab village in Ta-Khi-Leak township, fracturing his skull and splitting his scalp so severely that it needed to be treated with 7 stitches. The victim, Ja Pur (not his real name), aged 29, was from Ja Po Kham village in Kaeng Laab tract, Ta-Khi-Laek township. He earned a living as one of the goods peddlers who bought consumer goods in Thailand and crossed over to Laos to sell them, and in the process happened to know quite a few people in Laos. Because of his acquaintanceship with people in Laos, Ja Pur was asked by SPDC troops from Co.2 of Ta-Lur-based LIB316, who were taking security in Kaeng Laab tract, to go over to Laos and collect debts from traders who had bought 700,000 Baht worth of metamphetamine tablets on credit from the traders under their protection. When Ja Pur, unable to get any of the money from the traders in Laos, returned empty handed, the SPDC troops were furious with him and kicked and beat him many times, causing a fracture to his skull and a large wound in his scalp. The troops did not assist him in getting medical treatment and Ja Pu had to spend $7,000 bhat for his treatment. (Source: SHRF)
On November 18, 2001, battalion commander Htun Myint of SPDC IB 92 arrested Kaw-law-ka villager Saw Ko Kler in Tha-daung Township, Toungoo District, Karen State and tortured him by wrapping his head in a plastic bag and pouring water on him. The village head requested him to free the villager, but the commander accused the villager of having connection with the rebels and tortured him further. For his release, the commander demanded 70,000 Kyat, said to be the price of an AK-47 rifle. On that day, SPDC IB 92 column command Win Tun came into Ku-thay-doe village and extorted 5 Viss of chicken and 5 tins of rice from the villagers. When the troops found a pair of dry cell batteries in the hand of villager Saw Nay Tha, they beat him up. (Source: KIC)
On November 17, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 502 came to Kwee-ta-ma area in Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State and shot at villagers while they were reaping their paddy. On 17-11-2001, these troops came to Htee-wah-day area and shot at villagers while they were in their paddy field hut and wounded villagers Saw Di Boe and Saw Denny Htoo. (Source: KIC)
On November 15, 2001, combined troops of SPDC LIB 434 and IB 19 came to Baw-lay-khee vilage, Dweh-lo Township, Papun District and looted 5 chickens from the villagers. On that day, these troops came to Baw-thay-hta village and shot at the villagers wounding one Saw Pah Beh Htoo. These troops also tortured villagers and looted materials. (Source: KIC)
On November 11, 2001, troops from SPDC IB 96, led by Bo Zaw Myint combined with troops from DKBA, led by Henry came to Oo-su-khee village, Thaton District, Karen State and burned down 40 baskets of paddy of Saw Pa Kaw Lar and 30 baskets of paddy of Maung Taw. Moreover, these troops looted and ate a pig worth 8,000 Kyat and a goat worth 3,000 Kyat of the villagers. After that, they arrested, tied up and severely beat up villagers Maung Kyi, M-35, and Saw Pah Mu Wah, M-30 from that village. (Source: KIC)
On November 11, 2001, combined troops of SPDC LIB 17 and 503 shot and killed, without reason, Saw Thein Swe M-50, Saw Ba Htoo M-40 and Saw Pa Hla Yweh M-50 from Ma-mee-pu village, Lu-thaw Township, Papun District, Karen State. These troops also looted some of their possessions. (Source: KIC)
On November 4, 2001, 2 petty goods peddlers, father and son, were arrested, tortured and beaten until they lost consciousness several times by SPDC troops from LIB 360 in Murng-Ton township. Zaai Mawng and his son, aged 18, were from Murng-Ton town and had been peddling petty goods at gambling dens in Naa Kawng Mu village area for about 3 months when they were arrested by a patrol of 15-16 SPDC troops led by commander Aung Myint from Co.4 of LIB360.The SPDC troops said that Shan soldiers had killed innocent wood cutters and accused Zaai Mawng and his son of secretly providing rice for the Shan soldiers and guiding them in surveying the surrounding areas of the military base at Naa Kawng Mu village. They tortured them until they lost consciousness several times. According to the local villagers, the 2 peddlers had never left the gambling dens since their arrival at Naa Kawng Mu 3 months ago, and they had not even paid a visit to anyone in the village, let alone to other places as they had been accused of by the SPDC troops. (Source: SHRF)
On October 19, 2001, a unit of DKBA came to Toe-teh-khee village, Thaton District, Karen State, and shot at the house of villager Saw Pah Maung but the family could escape without any causality. (Source: KIC)
On October 18, 2001, at 6:00 troops from SPDC LIB 42, column 2 came to Htee-day-lay-kho village, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State and shot at 7 families of villagers. They were the families of (1) Naw Eh Bi, (2) Khin Maung Win, (3) Ma Hnin New, (4) Naw Plaw, (5) Saw Kah Gyi, (6) Naw Wah Htoo and (7) Naw Bi Kha. Moreover, the troops looted from villagers the total of 16 pots, 24 plates, 26 spoons, 23 blankets, 7 mosquito nets and 2 cassette players. (Source: KIC)
On October 15, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 558, led by Major
Myo Thant, on their way from Ka-byaung to Wa-thoo-lor village, Mergui-Tavoy
District found Wa-thoo-lor villager Saw Ta See, M-15, son of Tee Gaw Kay and Naw
Pwa Mu Doh, while he was grazing his buffaloes. The troops demanded from him his
machete and as he refused, they violently struck him on his head with a rifle
butt, causing a 2-inch wound in his head. Saw Ta See reported to Major Myo Thant
that his soldiers were trying to strike him with his machete but Major Myo Thant
did not take any action against his men. Moreover, he told Saw Ta See that he
already had killed more than a hundred persons without the knowledge of his
On October 13, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 7 led by battalion commander Maung Maung Aung and company intelligence officer Win Myint Htun came to Pwa-hgaw village, Thaton District, Karen State and demanded a tin of rice and 2 ducks from villagers. The troops demanded 2 villagers to serve as porters and one to serve as a guide. On the same day, the troops accused woman village head Naw Mee Saw and villagers, Naw Hla Thein, Naw Eh Htoo and Naw Khin Win of having contact with rebel groups and tied them up with rope for 20 minutes. (Source: KIC)
On October 11, 2001, troops from column 1 of SPDC IB 12 came from Yo-po-law military camp to Kay-mu-der village, Papun District, Karen State and shot at the villagers while they were in their field huts without any reason. One Kay-mu-der villager was wounded. On the same day, troops from SPDC Division 33 shelled heavy weapon bombs into Kay-mu-der area where Ko-hgay villager, Saw Klu Htoo (M, 20), son of Saw Maung Tha was wounded. (Source: KIC)
On October 9, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 351 led by battalion commander Than Aung came to Ler-kla, Saw-kha-doe and Htee-ler-baw-hta villages, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State and shot at villagers without reason. (Source: KIC)
On October 6, 2001, a villager, Saw Pah Kaw Dah M, 46, from Nya-po-khee village, Bi-lin township, Thaton District, Karen State stepped on a landmine planted near his village by DKBA Moe Jo group and died on the spot. (Source: KIC)
On October 4, 2001, troops from DKBA Pa Ni Tho unit, combined with troops from SPDC LIB 106, came into Khaw-po-pleh village, Thaton District, Karen State and extorted from the villagers a pig worth 13,000 Kyat, 5 baskets of rice and 3,500 Kyat. On 5-10-2001, these troops came to search the house of the Christian pastor of Khaw-po-pleh and looted 130,000 Kyat of donation money and all items found. In addition, they arrested villager Saw Bleh Say M, 26, son of Saw Maung Tin, without any reason. They shot at him wounding him seriously. On October 10, 2001, these troops burned down a villager’s paddy field hut and one bullock cart. (Source: KIC)
On October 2, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 106 and DKBA
arrested and tortured Lah-kyo-ko villagers in Thaton District, Karen State,
without reason. The victims were: (1) Saw Pah Meh, (2) Kyaw Ta Kay, (3) Naw Dah,
(4) Naw Tay, (5) Naw Tu, (6) Pah Bei Ko, (7) Pah Ohh Taw and (8) Pah Law Daw. Of
the victims, the torture of Pah Law Daw and Pah Ohh were brutal. They were not
released up to the time of this report. The troops also killed 2 pigs belonging
to them, for their food.
On September 30, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 556, led by battalion commander Htun Than came to Ka-weh village, Mergui-Tavoy District, Karen State and beat up villagers: (1)Saw Bo (M-50), (2)Saw Poo (M-36), (3)Saw Po Nu (M-37), (4)Saw Leh Per (M-45), (5)Saw Per Ler (M-18), (6)Saw James (M-45), (7)Saw Hla Thein Gyi (M-45), (8)Saw Wah (M-20), (9)Saw Paw Koo (M-20). The army demanded from them one firearm. (Source: KIC)
On September 29, 2001, Hsar Lay Wah (aka) Pah Ko Bu from DKBA active in the area of Pauk-kee, Nya-po-kee and Ta-u-kee villages of Be-lin Township, Thaton District, Karen State. The troops summoned the village head Naw Yo (F, 38) to come to Paw-kee because the villagers could not give 20 villagers as porters according to the demand. The troops tortured her by putting plastic bag around her head. In addition, the troops said unless the village gave the demanded 20 villagers as porters she would not be released. (Source: KIC)
On September 26, 2001, sergeant major, Kyaw Win from company 3 of SPDC IB 26 came to Baw-plaw-ta of Be-lin Township, Thaton District, Karen State and demanded 2 Viss of chickens and did not allow the villagers to go outside the villages. Troops from SPDC LIB 106 led by Sein Htun based in Kweeh-lay-tha-waw-pya village captured some women and tortured them by putting plastic around their heads. The troops cut off the travelling and transporting routes of villagers in the area of Toe-the-kee, Taw-klaw-ta and Htee-pah-doh-ta villages. (Source: KIC)
On September 25, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 7 led by company commander Myint Htwee shot at Ler-ka-der villagers Pah Tet Nyet and Maung Nu at Poo Klay Pa’s farm in Taton District, Karen State, without reason. Pah Tet Nyet’s leg was broken while Maung Nu could escape from that incident. After that, the troops came to Ler-ka-der village and threatened the villagers that they would be shot if the information spread. (Source: KIC)
On September 23, 2001, battalion commander Win Bo Shein of SPDC IB 60 and his troops combined with troops from DKBA led by Maung Ni came into Ler-kla village, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State and shot and wounded villager Saw Moo Kyaw Hai, without reason. (Source: KIC)
On September 20, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 120 came to Pauk-pu place of Mae-yei-kee village tract, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State and shot up the place, wounding villager Saw Kyaw Win. (Source: KIC)
On September 19, 2001, the troops of SPDC LIB- 108 company commander Maj; Win Nyunt, strength 1 column and the DKBA-999 led by Moo Naw Dway with 1section combined together, entered in to Khaw Thoo Khee village in Hlaing Bwe township, Pa’an District and shot and wounded 2 villagers (1) Saw Shwe Kaw, 25 years old, son of Pah Ka Ser. He was seriously wounded in the leg and body. (2) Mu Nay Paw, 17 years old, an unmarried woman, daughter of Pah Pyu. After shooting them, the troops gave no medical treatment, instead they looted the villagers belongings. (Source: KORD)
On September 13, 2001, Hteepoklo village Secretary Pray Reh, aged 42, was arrested by Burmese troops of IB No. 102 led by Maj. Aung Win. He was accused of having helped rebel groups and badly tortured by the Burmese troops. (Source: KNAHR)
On September 10, 2001, at 14:40 hours, combined troops from DKBA and SPDC LIB 11, led by Htun Mya came to Taw-u-hta, Pa-an District, Karen State and shot at villagers Maung Ma Pu, Saw Ti aknd Lah Eh Po and some boat owners where one villager was wounded and one villager was missing. The troops also looted a Honda machine from Nya-mu-klo villager. (Source: KIC)
On September 7, 2001, Tin Win from DKBA fire both heavy and small weapons at Ma Mee’s hill farm hut in Wah-ker-ta, Thaton District, Karen State and looted 3,000 Kyat and chickens from her. (Source: KIC)
On August 15, 2001, at night the SPSC guerilla forces that led by the officer Thain Lwin and officer Thain Nyet with the strength of 8 soldiers entered Myet Yeh village, near Mon township, Nyaung-lay-bin District and seized and tortured a villager Saw Doh Soe and forcibly asked 3000 kyats from him and then they again seized and tortured another two villagers, Kyaw Kyaw and Moe Kyaw and asked 7000 kyats from them. The same group, then went and entered Pa Reh Sei, seized 3 villages of family in their paddy hut, tortured them and asked 9000 kyats by forced. Again entered Done Do village paddy hut and tortured and asked 3000 kyats from them. (Source: KORD)
On August 5, 2001, the second battalion commander of IB 63 arrested Mae Khu Hta villagers Saw Myin Aye, 31 years old, laid on his hands, legs and throat and asked him to find him one Walkie- Talkie and one gun, saying that he came and watched their camp. Saw Myin Aye said he was a villager and was not able to find what they demanded. The troops then tortured him by kicking, beating him, including his head and at last the troops took him to Htee Doh Hta village, Papun District, Karen State and slept two nights there. (Source: KORD, KIC)
On July 21, 2001, at 5:30 PM, 30 soldiers from SPDC IB 17, led by column commander Major Kyaw Lwin, tried to drown in Pa-wa-chaung stream, Mergui-Tavoy District, Karen State, a 65-year old Htee-ka-bu villager, but as the villager did not die and ran away, the troops forced the relatives to find him and subjected the villagers to beating interrogation. (Source: KIC)
On July 13, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 230, led by battalion commander Aung Myint Oo, came to Tha-waw-thaw village, Doo-pla-ya District, Karen State, tortured the villagers and looted cash and household items. (Source: KIC)
On the evening of July 11, 2001, Zaai Saam Lim, 39, from Pa Nim village in Phuay Hoong tract, Kaeng-Tung township, Shan State who was carrying firewood on an ox-cart was stopped, beaten and robbed of his firewood by 3 SPDC troops from LIB314, at Phuay Hoong village, Kaeng-Tung township. The troops stopped Zaai Saam Lim and asked him where he got the firewood. When he said he got it from the forest opposite his village, the troops ordered him to go with them to their camp at Phuay Hoong village. When they reached the military camp at Phuay Hoong village, the SPDC troops took Zaai Saam Lim to the camp commander, a Captain, and reported that he had stolen wood from the forest that had been confiscated by the military. As he heard the report, the camp commander slapped Zaai Saam Lim 2 times, kicked him in the chest and said, “Do you want to die? How dare you steal wood in our garden!”.After that, although Zaai Saam Lim explained that he had not stolen any wood from the said military garden, the commander forced Zaai Saam Lim to unload his cart of all the firewood and ordered him to go home with an empty cart. As Zaai Saam Lim left the military camp, the commander shouted after him, “Let it be the last time. Don’t ever do it again. If you are caught again, we won’t spare you”. (Source: SHRF)
On July 10, 2001, several acres of land in Murng-Pan township, Shan State were confiscated by the SPDC authorities. The SPDC troops take whatever the like from the land while the local people were banned from using it. When they need wood or bamboo they must travel far away. Since there was a road-building project underway, some trees and a lot of bamboo had been cut to make way for the proposed road and were strewn along the sides of the road. On July 20, 2001, Zaai Ku Na Nyo, male, aged 30, from Murng-Pan town saw that a lot of bamboo on a piece of woodland which had been recently confiscated from his grandfather, Lung Saang Kham, aged 63, had been cut to make space for the road and was uselessly scattered all over the place. He then brought an ox-cart to the place and carried away as many pieces of bamboo as he could. As he was leaving, however, some SPDC troops from LIB 520 who were patrolling the area came and accused Zaai Ku Na Nyo of stealing bamboo and scolded, beat and kicked him many times, and finally forced him to unload his ox-cart and leave. That evening, a Sergeant named U Aung Hpyu, who had kicked and beaten Zaai Ku Na Nyo earlier, came to his house and extorted 500 Kyat of money from him. (Source: SHRF)
On July 4, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 546, led by battalion commander Soe Tin, came to Noe-law-plaw village, Doo-pla-ya District, Karen State and arrested Ka-lay-kee villager Saw Moo Baw, tied him up with rope and tortured him by stabbing his throat. (Source: KIC)
In late June 2001, the headman of Murng Haang village, Murng Haang tract, Murng-Ton township disappeared after being arrested by Capt. Han Sein, from IB65 of the SPDC, and taken to the military base.
On June 20, the village headman of Murng Tum tract, and his deputy were arrested and interrogated by SPDC troops trom Murng-Phyak-based LIB336, at Murng Tum village military camp in Murng-Sart township. The SPDC troops, temporarily stationed at Murng Tum village, led by Capt. Saw Maung, arrested the village tract headman, Lung Kawn Zing, 51, and his Secretary, Zaai Nyunt, 45, and took them to the outpost military camp. The troops accused the 2 villagers of supporting and providing rice for the Shan soldiers of SSA and interrogated, beat and tortured them. The 2 villagers could not eat for several days after constant beatings to the face. (Source: SHRF)
On June 17, troops from IB65 came to Murng Haang village on 4 conscripted civilian trucks and arrested Zaai Phaw-Ka, and took him to the military base. The troops accused him of helping and providing rice for the Shan soldiers of SSA and interrogated, beat and tortured him. He explained that every time Shan soldiers asked him for rice he had reported it to the SPDC local military authorities, and that SPDC authorities said that it would be better for the villagers to give the rice because they could not offer protection for the villagers all the time. Therefore, the villagers had given some rice to the Shan soldiers. He was released on June 21, after being interrogated, beaten and tortured. However, on June 26, he was arrested again by the same troops and no one has seen or heard of him since. On June 27, SPDC troops from IB225, led by Capt. Mya Maung, came to arrest the deputy headman of Huay Aw village, Zaai Taw-Ya, in Pung Pa Khem tract, Murng-Ton township. But Zaai Taw-Ya ran away and escaped. On June 27, the same SPDC troops arrested the village tract headman of Pung Pa Khem tract, Pu Haeng Ting, and took him to the military base. He was released after a few hours of interrogation. Three days later, he was again summoned to IB65 base in Murng-Ton to meet with the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Myint Swe. His release is not yet known. (Source: SHRF)
On June 14, 2001, troops from column 2 of SPDC IB 14 came to Htee-hsi-baw, Plaw-pah-taw villages, Mergui-Tavoy District, Karen State and shot at the villagers who were staying in the field huts. The villagers ran away and the troops seized villager Saw Ro Leh. The troops accused him of having contact with freedom fighters, stabbed him with a knife and threw him into the river. In addition, the troops entered the houses of Plaw-pah-taw village and took away a video deck with (Toshiba TV, 21 inches) from the villagers. (Source: KIC)
In June 2001, soldiers looted money and gold jewlery from the people form Saw Phyar, Taung Sinn and Kywe Chan villages, Launglon tsp, Tenasserim Division. The soldiers were led by Lt Col Kyi Myint. In Kywe Chan village, they beat three persons. They were Yuu (female 47), San Thein (63) and Maung Lwin (37) the chairman of the village Peace and Delopment Council. (Source: THRF)
Since May 2001, SPDC troops of LIB316 have been confiscating lands from people in Ta-Khi-Laek township, Shan State to build military camps and for other military use, without compensation. The land, mostly woodlands with trees and bamboo planted for building materials and firewood, is in the areas of Ta Lur, East Murng Laen, West Murng Lane, Nam Kherm, Pa Leo and Kaeng Laab village tracts, where there are mostly flat and fertile land. The SPDC troops simply marked out or deployed a small group of troops on the piece of land they wanted and declared that it had been confiscated. The owners were not allowed to go into the marked or guarded lands. Original owners who tried to secretly cut wood or bamboo because they did not have other places to get them, were seized and forced to pay fines and sometimes beaten. (Source: SHRF)
In May 2001, two villagers returning home from the town
market, after selling a pig, were stopped, tied, and robbed of their money by
SPDC troops from LIB360 almost 3 miles from their village, Ka Leng, in Sen Mawng
village tract, Murng-Paeng township, Shan State, Zaai Lu, 36, and Zaai Mu, 31,
were returning to their village, after selling their pig for 9,300 Kyat and
having bought some cooking oil and seasoning powder, when they ran into the
troops. Without any warning or explanation, the troops seized the 2 villagers,
tied their hands behind them and searched their bodies. The troops took away all
the money they found and all the food stuffs. After that, the troops slapped,
beat and kicked them and let them go, without untying them. They remained tied
until they reached their village.
On May 18, 2001, Kyu Ta, 36, a Lahu villager of Waeng Manaw in West Murng Laen tract, Shan State and his son Kya Ha, 18, were arrested by SPDC troops while cutting firewood in woodland that had been confiscated from them. The soldiers kicked and beat them several times and tied them up to a tree for 2 hours, only releasing them when their relatives payed a fine of 300 Baht. On May 26, 2001, 3 Lahu villagers from Musur Lam village in Nam Kherm village tract were arrested and beaten, and their firewood taken by SPDC troops from LIB316. Ja Mu, 31, Ja Wi, 29, and Ja Ma, 19, had collected the firewood 5-6 miles from their village as the areas close to the village had been confiscated.. The SPDC soldiers accused the villagers of stealing the wood from military woodland and ordered them to kneel down in a row and slapped, kicked and beat them, forcing them to confess to the crime. They then ordered them to leave their bundles of firewood and go home, warning them not to tell anyone about the incident or else they would come after them and take they lives. (Source: SHRF)
On May 14, 2001, at 8:00 PM, troops from SPDC LIB106, led by
battalion commander Cho Htun and battalion second in command Soe Lu Latt, came
into Htee-pa-doh-hta village, Thaton District, Karen State and seized villagers
Saw Pah Kya, M-27, and his wife Ma Mya Aye, 26, and tied them up and took them
to Yo-kla camp. They were released later after being tortured in various ways.
(Source: KIC, KORD)
On May 12, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 106, under LID 77, led by battalion Second in Command, Aung Myint, came to Htaw-klaw-hta village, Papun District, Karen State and, seized and beat up Saw Kyaw Way M-18, without any reason. Moreover, these troops looted villagers belongings. (Source: KIC)
In early May 2001, the headman of Murng Haang village tract and his deputy, and the headman of Me Ken village tract and his deputy, in Murng-Ton township, Shan state were arrested, tortured and severely beaten unconscious by SPDC troops, in the IB65 base in Murng-Ton. A few days later, the 4 villagers disappeared and their fate is not known. On May 9, troops led by Capt. Han Sein, arrested Murng Haang headman, Zaai Nyaeng, and his deputy, and then arrested Me Ken headman, Zaai Thun Ne, and his deputy, Zaai Nan-Taw. The 4 villagers were taken to the base of IB65, commanded by Lt Col Myint Swe, and interrogated. They were tied up and beaten, and tortured with electric shocks during the interrogations, until they lost consciousness several times, they have not been seen since. It was later learned that the headman of Murng Haang tract and his deputy were arrested on a charge of providing intelligence about the location of a 105mm mortar of the SPDC troops to the Shan resistance. The 105mm mortar had been destroyed by an RPG attack by Shan resistance troops, in which 16 SPDC troops were also killed. The headman of Me Ken tract and his deputy were arrested under the accusation of providing intelligence for the Shan soldiers which had enabled them to choose and attack the particular vehicle which carried SPDC military commanders in an ambush on a military convoy, in which many SPDC officers were killed and the vehicle destroyed. (Source: SHRF)
On April 28, 2001, troops from battalion 119 of Tactical Command 332, under LID 33, led by battalion commander, Kin Maung, came to Mae-thu village tract, Papun District, Karen State and shot and wounded 4 villagers from Ger-gaw-lo and Ner-kee villages. They villagers were: (1) Saw Shwe Pay Heh M, 39; (2) Saw Pah Myaing, M, 31; (3) Saw Yin Moo, M, 25 and (4) Saw Pah Kwah. (Source: KIC)
On April 24, 2001, again, troops from LIB 29, led by battalion commander Aung Khaing shot and wounded Ka-wa-kee villager Saw Klo Wah, M, 45 in Papun District, Karen State. (Source: KIC)
On April 20, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 20, led by battalion commander Aung Khaing, came to Ya-ke-kee, Maw-ko, Na-ko-kee and Ka-wa-kee villages, Papun District, Karen State and demanded 195,427 Kyats, 79 baskets of rice, 478 chickens and 4 ploughs from the villagers. On the same day, the troops shot up the villagers. Three villagers of Ka-wa-kee and Ya-ke-kee were wounded. The victims were: (1)Saw Pah Pleeh, M, 48; (2) Saw Kyaw Min, M, 25 and (3) Saw Maung Thu, M, 35. (Source: KIC)
On April 14, 2001, combined troops from LIB 106 of SPDC LID 77 and DKBA Moe Jo, arrested Tha-wa-pya villager of Thaton District, Karen State, Saw Kyaw Shwe and Pah Klu, without any reason, and tortured them. They forced the two to show places of the resistance fighters. They killed and ate a pig of Saw Thu Htay, without payment. (Source: KIC)
On April 11, 2001, troops from SPDC IB 124, based at Ler-hgi-ko village, Toungoo District, Karen State led by second lieutenant Mya Thaung, told villagers to get Saw Heh Breh, 40, for taking him to the front-line. When he came they brutally tortured him. This SPDC unit forced Maung-nweh-ji village tract and Kon-taing village tract, in West Day-lo, to buy a carton of A-A size dry cells for it, per month. If the village tracts failed, they had to pay 5,000 Kyat, per month.(Source: KIC, KORD)
In April 2001, a sick man traveling to Kaeng-Tung was beaten unconscious and detained by members of the SPDC police and No.22 Military Intelligence Service at the checkpoint at Mai Khai village in Murng-Paeng Township, Shan State. Zaai Tu, 24, was being driven to Kaeng-Tung for treatment after contracting Malaria while teaching Shan literature for the ceasefire group SSA-N (Shan State Army - North). He was so weak with the virus that he could not answer questions asked by the SPDC checkpoint authorities. He was dragged from the car, severely beaten and then detained on suspicion of being high on amphetamine. Zaai Tu was later bailed out by relatives and taken to Kaeng-Tung hospital for treatment. Although Zaai Tu’s colleagues have urged leaders of SSA-N to file a complaint with the SPDC authorities in Murng-Paeng, no action has been taken. (Source: SHRF)
On March 30, 2001, troops from No. 2 column of SPDC LID 77, led by second battalion commander, Myo Htun, and company commander, Htun Aye, came to Da-mae-kee village, Thaton District, Karen State and demanded 15 baskets of rice from the villagers. In addition, they killed and ate all chickens and pigs found. They arrested and tortured, brutally, Da-mae-kee villager Saw Kyi, without any reason. (Source: KIC)
On March 14, 2001, the SPDC troops came to Kyauk-kon village, Doo-pla-ya District, Karen State and looted 3 bottles of cooking oil and a basket of rice from villager Maung Tha Heh and then tortured him. In addition, the troops threatened and looted the villagers belongings. (Source: KIC)
On March 5, 2001, troops from SPDC IB 549, shot and wounded a
villager from Lay-taw-hta village, Dooplaya District, Karen State without any
On March 4, 2001, troops from SPDC LIB 432 rounded up villagers in Papun District, Karen State accusing them of being spies of KNU and beat up them severely. They were then released. These same troops arrested and tortured village headman, Saw Swai, without any reason and put him in a detention cell. (Source: KIC)
On March 1, 2001, troops from SPDC IB 34 led by battalion
commander Yeh Naing came into Du-daw-kho village, Toungoo District, Karen State
and started shooting at the villagers without reason and wounding villager Saw
Ka Ta, M-35.
On January 3, 2001, SPDC troops from LIB328, led by Lt. Htein Lin, detained and tortured 13 villagers in Murng Nung tract, Murng-Khark township, before extorting their relatives and fellow villagers for their release. The villagers, 3 from Wan Laa village, 6 from Wan Tong village and 4 from Wan Kham Noi village, were accused of dealing in amphetamines. Lt. Htein Lin and 3 of his troops visited the parents and relatives of the detainees on January 5 and told them to bring 30,000 Kyat for each prisoner’s release. The villagers could only gather 15,000 each, and this amount was accepted the following day. While in detention, Lung Laa, 51, was beaten with rifle butts and suffered from a severely sprained waist and could not stand up or walk for several days, and Zaai In Pan, 46, suffered a split scalp and fractured skull. (Source: SHRF)
Torture Resulting in Death – Partial List of Incidents (also see chapter on arbitrary execution)
On December 12, 2001, the village headman of Wan Lao village in Kun-Hing township was tortured and killed by SPDC troops of IB 246. Wan Lao is the main village of Wan Lao village tract in Kun-Hing township and was forcibly relocated in 1996 along with other adjoining large village tracts such as Kaeng Lom, Kaeng Kham and Kaeng Tawng, although Kaeng Tawng was in Murng-Nai township. Since 1998 the people of Wan Lao village have been allowed to go back and tend their farms and fields, although people of other village tracts have not been able to. On the day of the incident, there was a short skirmish between SPDC troops and Shan resistance soldiers, at a place between Terng Phen (deserted) village and Kun-Hing town, 7-8 miles away from town. After the battle, the SPDC troops searched Wan Lao village, the only inhabited village in the surrounding areas, and found a letter from the Shan soldiers, asking for food from the villagers. They accused the villagers of supporting the Shan soldiers and arrested the village headman, Zaai Oong Nyunt, aged 35, son of the old Wan Lao village tract headman, and interrogated him about the Shan soldiers. The SPDC troops said the village headman had committed a very grave offence for not reporting the receipt of the Shan soldiers’ letter and accused him of having provided rice and food for the Shan soldiers to fight the Burmese troops, and tortured him. They tied him up and beat him for some time and put him in an empty granary, and dropped drips of hot plastic from a burning plastic pipe over his body, asking questions about Shan soldiers during intervals, until he lost consciousness. When the headman regained consciousness, the troops put him in a gunny sack, closed and tied up the mouth of the sack and kicked him around, and finally kicked him down a mountain slope. The sack rolled down, and when it stopped, Zaai Oong Nyunt was dead. (Source: SHRF)
On November 16, 2001, an innocent head of a family, Zaai Saw, male, aged 40, was tortured and beaten to death while being shackled with a bamboo foot-lock by SPDC troops from IB246 at a military camp in Kaeng Tawng area, Murng-Nai township. Zaai Saw, his wife and 3 children were originally from Kaeng Kham village, in Kaeng Lom tract in Kun-Hing township, that had been forcibly relocated to Kun Mong village in Kun Mong tract, Murng-Nai township, by Burmese troops in 1996. At Kun Mong village relocation site, Zaai Saw and his family managed to eke out a living by growing rice on a small plot of land some distance from the village. On November 15, 2001, Zaai Saw went to work at his rice farm and accidentally left his registration or identity card at the farm when he returned home. When a patrol of 20 SPDC troops from IB246 led by Lt. Than Oo came at night to check his house for overnight guests, Zaai Saw could not show them his ID card to prove that he was not a guest but the head of the house. Although Zaai Saw explained about it to the troops, they arrested him for not having an ID card and took him to a military outpost camp, put him in a bamboo foot-lock and tortured him all night. The next morning, many village elders and leaders went to the military camp and guaranteed Zaai Saw’s innocence and appealed in vain for his release. Zaai Saw’s wife and children later retrieved his ID card from their farm and showed it to the soldiers, but to no avail.Instead of releasing him, the troops kept torturing and beating Zaai Saw until he finally died with his feet still locked in the bamboo foot-lock. Only then, the troops said to the villagers, “If he really was from your village, take him back and bury him”.According to the local villagers, since he was relocated to Kun Mong relocation site, Zaai Saw had never gone to any other township or even to places too far from his village area. He had never had any connections with any political and armed insurgent groups. He was just a simple farmer who loved his family and knew only his farm work. He left behind a wife and 3 children to fend for themselves: (Source: SHRF)
1. Naang Zing, aged 36, his wife
2. Zaai Kham Lu, aged 16, their son
3. Naang Seng, aged 13, their daughter
4. Zaai Wan, aged 9, their son
On October 13, 2001, combined troops of SPDC IB 96,
anti-insurgent unit led by Maung Kyi Thwin, Saw Min Soe and Saw Pah gaw from
DKBA, a total of 30 troops came to Pi-ti-khee village, Thaton District, Karen
State. They seized and tortured Pi-tikhee village head Saw Mu Tu and villager
Saw Po Toe accusing them of not sending information to them. They were tortured
by beating and pouring water on them. Saw Mu Tu escapee but Saw Po Toe was
tortured until death.
On September 24, 2001, 5 villagers in the Kaeng Tawng area of Murng-Nai township were beaten to death by SPDC troops from Kun-Hing based IB 246, at a place 2 miles west of Waeng Kao village in Nawng Hee tract, Murng-Nai township. On September 14, 2001, SPDC troops from Kun-Hing based IB 246, that were temporarily stationed in Kaeng Tawng area of Murng-Nai townshifp under the command of Capt. Zaw Thein, arrested the following 5 villagers accusing them of having connections with the Shan resistance soldiers in the area:
1. Zaai Aw (m), aged 36, Originally from Saai Khaao village in Kun-Hing township
2. Saw-Na (m), aged 35, Originally from Nam Pa Mon village that had been relocated to Kun Mong
3. Zan-Da Phit (m), aged 27, From Pa Sa village in Nawng Hee tract
4. Khur Haan (m), aged 26, from Kun Mong village
5. Aw-Li-Ya (m), aged 51, from Paang Khaw village in Ton Hung tract
These villagers were taken to a military camp and detained for several days during which they were interrogated, beaten and tortured so harshly that urine and excrement involuntarily came out, and they lost consciousness 3-4 times, but the SPDC troops could not get the answers they wanted. Finally, the troops accused them of helping the Shan soldiers by trading for them — using capital money from them and supporting them with the profits gained from it — and forced them to pay a fine of 50,000 Kyat each for their release. However, after the villagers had paid the fine and had gone home for only 4 days, they were arrested again by the same SPDC troops and beaten to death. Three days later, their bodies were found by some villagers who had gone to gather mushrooms at a place about 2 miles west of Waeng Kao in Nawng Hee tract, Murng-Nai township. (Source: SHRF)
On July 11, 2001, 5 rice farmers, 3 men and 2 women, were beaten to death by a patrol of SPDC troops from IB247, led by Capt. Mya Htoo, on a rice farm about 3 miles southwest of Wan Phui village in Kho Lam tract, Nam-Zarng township. The women were raped before they were killed. On July 7, troops from IB247 found several fresh footprints close by the rice farm and the SPDC troops suspected the farmers of helping and providing rice for the Shan soldiers. They found out that the farmers lived in Wan Phui village. The farmers had been cultivating rice at the farm on the days when they were free from their forced labour duty and were not there on the day the soldiers arrived. The commander of IB247 sent an order to the village headman of Wan Phui to bring the 5 farmers to the military camp at Kho Lam where they were interrogated and later released. However, when they returned to the farm on July 11, they were arrested by SPDC troops from IB247. The 3 men were tied up and interrogated, tortured and beaten to death. The 2 women were taken into the farm hut and gang-raped by the SPDC soldiers, and finally beaten to death in the hut. (Source: SHRF)
They were the following 5 farmers:
1. Lung Kan-Na (m), aged 51
2. Zaai Wi-La-Sa (m), aged 43
3. Naang Seng (f), aged 30
4. Naang Maai (f), aged 24
5. Zaai Kaw (m), aged 21
On May 19, 2001, SPDC troops from LIB524, led by Capt. Than
Htun, tortured and killed the Saai Zan village tract secretary. The troops came
to Laai Zan village in Saai Zan tract, Kun-Hing township, and arrested the
village tract secretary, Zaai Zae-Ya, and a villager, Zaai Man. They then tied
them up and took them to the military base in Kun-Hing town to interrogate them
about the activities and whereabouts of the SSA-S (Shan State Army - South) in
the area, while beating and torturing them with fire. Zaai Zae-Ya, was burnt and
tortured to death during interrogation. The fate of the other villager, Zaai
Man, is not yet known.
On March 2, 2001, a group of 14 displaced villagers heading for Thailand were seized by SPDC troops from LIB225 and beaten, tortured, interrogated, and finally killed, at a place called Huay Pa Khi in Murng-Ton township, 7 miles from the Thai border, opposite Chaiprakan district of Chiangmai province. These villagers were from different townships in central Shan State who had come separately via Larng-Khur, Murng-Pan, Murng-Ton and met by chance in Murng-Ton town. After learning from one another that they were heading for Thailand, they decided to go together in a group. On the next day, 14 of them went by truck to Pung Pa Khem village and from there on foot to Nam Hoo Khun village, about 5 miles east of Pung Pa Khem and about 4 miles west of the Thai border, which was populated by Wa and Lahu peoples, and had a stronghold of Wa soldiers close by. As a rule, people going to Thailand usually hire local guides to take them from Nam Hoo Khun to the Thai border. These 14 villagers, however, did not hire any guide because one of them offered to lead the way, saying that he had been to this area a couple of times a few years ago and he knew the way well. Unfortunately, however, the self-made guide did not realize that the route through Huay Pa Khi which he had taken a few years ago had been closed by Wa troops under their Chinese boss, Wei Shaukang, for almost 2 years. Unaware of the current situation, the villager led his group along the Huay Pa Khi route until they were stopped, surrounded and arrested by a group of SPDC troops from IB225 led by Capt. Maung Thaung. They were interrogated, tortured and eventually beaten to death in a group by the troops. It was learned that the villagers had been accidentally heading towards one of the amphetamine factories in the area under the security of the SPDC troops and were arrested. While Wa troops actually guarded the factories, SPDC troops roamed the outer area. After some beating, torture and interrogation, the villagers were suspected of having found out the location of at least one of the amphetamine factories.Therefore, to shut their mouths, the SPDC troops simply killed all of them and ordered some workers from the amphetamine factory to bury them, at a place not very far from where they had killed them. (Source: SHRF)
The victims were from the following townships:
1. Lung Pan-Ta (m), aged 51
2. Pa Thun (f), “ 47
3. Zaai Pan-Ti (m), “ 22
4. Naang Kya (f), “ 20
3 villagers from Paang Khaa village, Khun Pu tract, Kun-Hing township
1. Zaai Maat (m), aged 29
2. Naang Poi (f), “ 24
3. Naang Wan (f), “ 16
4 villagers from Paang Yong village, Wan Lur tract, Lai-Kha township
1. Pa Kam (f), aged 46
2. Zaai Wun Kyaw (m), “ 28
3. Naang Maai (f), “ 19
4. Zaai Wan (m), “ 17
3 from Kun Kaao village, Kun Mong tract, Kaeng Tawng area, Murng-Nai township
1. Zaai Naw (m), aged 29
2. Zaai Ting (m), “ 25
3. Zaai Wi (m), “ 24
On January 24, 2001, 2 displaced villagers were beaten to death and a14-year-old girl was taken away and raped for 3 nights by SPDC troops from Kun-Hing-based IB246, led by Capt. Zaw Thein. Sa Ti Ya, 35, and his son, Zaai Khat, 16, and daughter, Naang Muay Khur (not her real name), 14, were gathering wild vegetables at a deserted farm northwest of their Ton Hoong village relocation site in Ton Hoong tract, Murng-Nai township when they were arrested by a patrol of 45-50 SPDC troops stationed at Ton Hoong relocation site. The father and son were interrogated, tortured and beaten to death with sticks. Capt. Zaw Thein then raped the daughter and took her along with the patrol for 3 nights before releasing her. Some time after she returned to the relocation site, Naang Muay Khur reported the incident to the village elders and community leaders, who found the bodies of the 2 dead victims and buried them properly.
The 3 victims were:
1. Sa Ti Ya, aged 35, the father, beaten to death
2. Zaai Khat, aged 16, son of Sa Ti Ya, beaten to death
3. Naang Muay Khur (not her real name), aged 14, daughter of Sa Ti Ya, raped and taken away for 3 nights (Source: SHRF)
On January 19, 2001, a Palaung villager was beaten to death, his wife raped, and their their belongings stolen from their house by SPDC troops from Nam-Zarng-based IB66, led by commander Tin Myint, at Ho Ha village in Kaeng Tawng area, Murng-Nai township. Troops from Co.2, IB66, came to Ho Ha village and searched all the houses. According to the local people, it was said that Paw Saang Kham Ai, 37, was killed by the SPDC troops because he could not pay the 500,000 Kyat ‘tax’ or protection fee demanded for growing opium, due to the failure of the crop on account of bad weather. Troops beat him to death in his house and then raped his wife, and took money, valuables, clothes, household utensils, chickens, pigs and cattle. (Source: SHRF)
On January 17, 2001, a villager was beaten to death and his daughter was raped and held for two days by SPDC troops from IB66, led by, about 1-1/2 miles from Ho Ha village in Nam-Zarng township. The victims, Lung Seng, 40, and his daughter, Naang Zaw (not her real name), 17, were going to cut firewood, carrying with them a saw, an axe and a knife, when they ran into the column of 70-80 SPDC troops. Lung Seng was interrogated and beaten to death, while Capt. Aung Kyaw raped Naang Zaw. The troops took her but she was released two days later. (Source: SHRF)
On January 3, 2001, 3 villagers were severely beaten by SPDC troops from IB221 on the road between Nam Laan and Murng Tin tracts in Murng-Phyak township. One of the villagers died later from injuries sustained in the beating. Zaai Laa Keo, 23, from Paang Kiu village and Zaai Saam Tin, 30, and Zaai Lin, 23, from Pa Khaa Mai village were walking together to buy pigs in Murng Tin village tract when they ran into the SPDC troops from Co. No.3 of Murng-Phyak-based IB221. The troops stopped the 3 villagers and forced them to squat in line and tied their hands behind their backs. Before asking any questions, the leader of the troops kicked the villagers. The others joined in and accused the villagers of spying for SSA-E and interrogated them. They kicked,beat, and struck the villagers with their rifle butts, asking for the whereabouts of the Shan soldiers. The villagers denied the accusations and said that they had not seen any Shan soldiers. Zaai Laa Keo, who had been hit in the chest with a rifle butt, began vomitting a lot of blood and, seeing that, the troops untied their hands and released them. The villagers returned to their villages, with Zaai Saam and Zaai Lin helping Zaai Laa Keo who could hardly walk. Zaai Laa Keo died 3 days later. (Source: SHRF)
Personal Account: Torture in Military Intelligence Unit No. 19 and Myeik Prison
I am xxxx from Ye-loun-sein village, Arakan State. In 1995, I moved to Ranong, Thailand and settled there to earn my living because SPDC troops always tortured and punished the Arakanese people and discriminated against the ethnic groups. In 1996 I went to Kaw-thaung, Karen State, in order to transfer the money that I had saved during the year for my parents and my children. Unfortunately, as I was going to the bank to transfer the money, U Gyi Win (from Military Intelligence No. 19) arrested me and stole 30,000 kyat. I was taken to an underground room at Military Intelligence No. 19 and they tortured and interrogated me there. They interrogated me about affiliations with political groups. It’s not fair. I didn’t have any political documents and I don’t know anything about politics. They did it because they hate Arakanese. The MI interrogation is very cruel. In MI there is a lot of torturing and it is very bad. They made us spread our legs six feet (with the length of a plastic pipe filled with concrete between our legs) and stand in a position like when you are driving a motorcyle for an hour and a half. They only gave us food when they wanted to and sometimes we only got a meal once a day. They interrogated me 6 times day and during interrogation they beat me up and burned me with cigarettes. The people responsible for the interrogations were Khin Lwin Oo (warrant officer), Gyi Win, and Kaw Naing (corporal). They are the ones who tortured me the most.
I was given a jail sentence of 4 years even though I hadn’t committed a crime.
I had to falsely confess to them to escape from their
torture, otherwise they would have continued to question me and not let me go.
Then they sent me to Myeik prison. U Mya Win is a warden and U Thein
Myint is a jailer in Myeik prison. The prisoners from Myeik prison were served
only a milk bottle’s portion of rice (3 bites) and one cup of soup made with
really small fish (like baby fish with no meat and only bones) even though it
wasn’t enough. U Mya Win is corrupt and every day he took two bags of rice that
were supposed to go to the prisoners. U Mya Win told the prisoners he was sorry
for taking it but he had to because the generals above him wanted to play golf,
eat at an expensive restaurant and give gifts to the singers at the restaurant
and U Mya Win was responsible for paying for it. The prison workers are also
corrupt. They get paid, but it is not enough so they also had to take rice. Even
though U Mya Win and the prison workers were corrupt and taking things that were
supposed to go to the prisoners, they still didn’t treat the prisoners well.
There was only six tins of beans for bean soup for over three thousand
prisoners. When they serve it looks like slightly yellow water. As far as health
care goes, they didn’t care at all and only gave us Paracetemol and a medicine
called Varmiton (a kind of sleeping pill). They only do something if a prisoner
is near death. Then they send him to the hospital. Many of the prisoners who
died were suffering from stomach diseases as they didn’t have any fresh food.
Being in Myeik prison is like being in hell, if you are there you will die from
hunger and lack of fresh food.
(Source: PDF, 2001)
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