4. Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment
4.1 Background"Torture of political detainees and ethnic minorities is widespread and systematic in Myanmar…" UN human rights report (October 16, 2000)
"Torture and ill-treatment have become institutionalized in Myanmar. They are practiced by the army as part of counter-insurgency activities; by Military Intelligence (MI) personnel when they interrogate political detainees; by prison guards; and by the police." Amnesty International Report, ‘The Institution of Torture’. (December 2000)
The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in Burma has been documented particularly since the time of the 1988 popular uprisings, when the occurrences of torture increased, yet torture has been used by the military government in Burma for over 40 years. The use of torture portrays how little the military regime values human dignity, and is even against the junta’s own laws. Articles 330 and 331 of the Burmese Penal Code (1957) prohibit torture and ill treatment during interrogation. Yet it is the personnel associated with the regime that are given the power to torture during interrogation, and when complaints are occasionally made, no action is taken, or the complainer occasionally is then detained and interrogated.
Members of the SPDC army, the MIS, the police, the USDA, and armed groups aligned with the SPDC such as the DKBA and the village people’s militias ("pyi thu sit") use torture to punish and degrade (break) those who have been detained on allegations of suspected of "anti-government" activities, including political prisoners and villagers in ethnic areas of armed insurgency. Torture is also a method of obtaining information concerning anti-government or rebel activities and a way of putting terror into the hearts of others to keep them away from association with anything deemed anti-government.
In addition to torturing individuals suspected of "anti-government" contact, there are cases where SPDC personnel have tortured individuals in order to extort money, to give punishment for failure to pay a required fee or tax, or out of personnel prejudice or dislike. One of the pillars of SPDC power is the privilege and authority that is given to military officers, and the impunity that they receive from any crimes committed. Torture and ill treatment is also utilized against villagers and prisoners forced to labor or forced to porter for the military. Torture of political prisoners, both in prisons as well as in prison labor camps and during prisoner forced labor duty, is the norm, and notoriously cruel in the way it is carried out.4.2 Torture, and other cruel or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in areas of ethnic armed conflict
Torture is commonplace in areas of ethnic armed insurgency, where the "Four-Cuts" and other military policies have denied people human dignity at all levels. Villagers live in terror of SPDC officers who may arbitrarily suspect them of contact with the opposition, and then detain, interrogate or even kill them because of this assumed contact. As a result of the frequency with which SPDC soldiers deny villagers their dignity in these areas, many ethnic minority people subjected to such torture or degrading treatment have come to the conclusion that much of the torture is not only due to alleged rebel contact, but also due to their ethnicity or religion. At the end of this chapter is a list of incidents which occurred in the year 2000.
4.3 Ill-treatment during Forced Portering and Labour
Ill-treatment during Civilian Forced Labor and Porter Duty
Throughout the year 2000, civilians continued to be conscripted or arbitrarily seized to carry heavy loads as porters for the SPDC army battalions. Porters who finished their duty or who managed to escape have given consistent and horrific accounts of the ill treatment given to the civilian porters. There is almost always an acute shortage of food for the porters, and they are occasionally tied together with rope or forced to walk in front of the soldiers as shields and land mine sweepers. When porters become exhausted from being overworked, underfed, and sometimes beaten, they are subjected to physical and verbal abuse and sometimes beaten to death and left in the jungle. Female porters, mostly ethnic women living in combat areas, are subjected to sexual harassment, and occasionally rape, gang rape, and other sexual crimes.
At forced labor sites across the country, villagers are often mistreated and degraded by SPDC personnel who are supervising the work site. Conditions at work sites are often harsh, and the hours long. Villagers who become exhausted due to lack of food, rest or medicine are commonly verbally or physically abused in order to keep them working. The subject of forced labor in Burma and the conditions which occur during this forced labor are covered extensively in the chapter on forced labor.
Ill-treatment, and cruel or inhuman treatment during prison labor and portering
Prisoners in prison labor camps, prisoner porter recruiting camps, and in the front lines as porters are treated in particularly horrible ways. (These are all discussed more thoroughly in the chapter on forced labor.) Prisoners are denied all human dignity, as they are forced to labor in inhuman ways. Prisoners are often used in the place of animals to carry heavy loads or plow fields.4.4 Torture during Detention
"Torture or other forms of inhuman treatment of political detainees are believed to be routine, especially during initial interrogation," Judge Rajsoomer Lallah,
Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights
Political opposition activists often endure particularly brutish treatment while in detention. Torture is used to punish them and to compel them to cooperate with their interrogators. These prisoners endure both physical and emotional torture during the often prolonged periods of detention following arrest while they are isolated from public scrutiny and protection. Many of them are forced to sign "confessions" admitting to anti-SPDC activities or implicating colleagues or friends in such activities. Some are forced to sign documents confirming that they had been well-treated during interrogation or in jail, and other says that they have been incommunicado following torture to allow time for the physical signs of torture to heal before anyone could see them.
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.
In Burma the practice of shackling of prisoners still persists. The prisoners are shackled in heavy chains, like the ones used to tie elephants even when they are kept in cells which are securely locked while they are waiting to be called before Courts. The practice of shackling prisoners in this manner dates from medieval times. Such shackling clearly falls under inhuman and degrading punishment. Such shackling should be declared illegal and more suitable methods must be developed to ensure that prisoners do not escape while in custody.
SPDC’s use of cruel and unusual torture techniques has been well documented by survivors of such techniques and human rights groups. SPDC’s methods of torture include beatings rigorous enough to cause permanent injury; shackling of the legs or arms, both in prison cells and in work camps; burning victims with cigarettes; applying electric shocks to the victim’s genitals, finger tips, toes, ear lobes, and elsewhere; suffocation; stabbing; rubbing of salt and chemicals in open wounds; forcing victims to stand in unusual and uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time, including "riding the motorcycle," which entails standing with arms outstretched and legs bent and the "helicopter" in which the victim is suspended by the wrists or feet from a ceiling fixture and then spun around; deprivation of light and sleep; denial of medicine, food, exercise and water for washing; employing the "iron road" in which iron or bamboo roads are rolled up and down the shins until the skin is lacerated; ordering solitary confinement with extreme small and unsanitary cells for prolonged period; rape and sexual assault and the use of psychological torture, including threats of death.
Prison punishment is often very similar to the cruel treatment endured during an interrogation period. Prisoners are severely beaten, placed in solitary confinement, transferred to other cell-blocks. And denied contact with the outside world. Political prisoners are often sent to police dog cells, intended for dogs, where they are subjected to beatings and placed in leg-irons made of chains or of iron rod thrust between the feet.
SPDC uses many forms of beating to intimidate and torture prisoners and detainees. Soldiers use typical as well as unusual implements to beat their victims, including their fists, combat boots, rifle butts, leather-coated pipes, wooden sticks, stick made from three interlaced pieces of cane, solid bamboo sticks, about three feet in length, and hard plastic water pipes. Victims often sustain serious permanent injuries including paralysis and even death.
SPDC beating are designed to physically harm and to humiliate their victims, The following are a few of the 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, along iron bar is placed in between their legs, and they are forced to crawl while being beaten; prisoners are beaten while being forced to do continuous squat-jumps. Authorities do not hold back during these beatings; 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 are routinely seriously wounded; they suffer severe internal bleeding, 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.
4.5 Partial list of incidents in 2000
On January 14 2000, Maj. Maung Maung Soe, commander of IB 72, ordered the leaders of Daw Tamadu village in Karenni State to come and see him at his military base that day. They were then threatened by the commander because of the recent fighting at Daw Kauk which had killed 5 and wounded 9 other SPDC troops. The following day, the commander summoned the Daw Kauk village secretary, his assistant, and the Daw Tacha village secretary to his Daw Tamadu base. Upon arrival, the three were severely beaten and kicked by the Burmese troops, for the same reason the leaders have been threatened. Due to the torture, the Daw Tacha village secretary’s back was injured and he lost some teeth. In addition, the two others from Daw Kauk, Kei Mah, 30, and Moi Reh, 42, reported after their release from serving as messengers for the Burmese troops that they also had been masked and terribly tortured while they served as messengers. (Source: KNAHR)
On January 16, 2000, the village secretary of Daw Nye Ku, Karenni State, Kun Ai, age 45, was summoned to come to the Daw Tamadu base by Maj. Maung Maung Soe, commander of IB 72. When the secretary arrived to the military base, he was beaten and kicked by Maj. Maung Maung Soe without questioning or any reasons given. They then put him in a ground hole for one day and one night. (Source: KNAHR)
On January 24 2000 60 troops from IB 422 based in Loi Kow, Karenni State entered Loi Khawng village, Loi La tract, Mong Nai Township, Shan State, robbed the people and the monastery of about 20,000 kyat in total, and then seized 3 villagers from Wan Keng Kam who had been working in their fields near Loi Khawng village. Loong Pan Ta, Loong Htoon, and Loong Phaw Ka were accused of being Shan resistance troops, tied up and tortured. Later these victims were dressed in army fatigues missing insignias, and sent to an SPDC garrison in Nam-Zarng for further interrogation, with the message that they had been captured by IB 422 in a skirmish with Shan rebel troops. (Source: SSANews)
On January 27 2000, 15 villagers of Daw Thè, Karenni State were arrested by troops from LIB 516. They were arrested in retaliation for a battle which had occurred earlier that month near Linphon village between the Karenni forces and LIB 516. The villagers were badly tortured by the troops. Among the arrested was a Christian pastor Antoni, 25, who was also tortured severely. As of April 2000, he was near death’s door. In addition, the same troops arrested two villagers of Daw Papah, one of Nam Sukuay and four of Wam Ngaw village. All arrested villagers were brought to the military base and detained there. Their families are not allowed to come to the military base. Villagers living in those areas are very frightened to stay at their homes. (Source: KNAHR)
On January 29, 2000, headman of Tong Wa Nur village was beaten until he lost consciousness and 12 viss of fish, belonging to the villagers, was robbed by SPDC troops from IB244 at the fish ponds of Tong Wa Nur and Tong Wa Tai villages in Paang Kiu tract, Kaeng-Tung township. (Source: SHRF)
On January 30 2000, Khu Meo Feh, 40, of Kaybisoe village, Deemaw Soe Township, Karenni State was sent by his village head to deliver a message to the Daw Tamadu army base. When he arrived at the military base, he was arbitrarily mistreated by the troops of IB No. 72, who put him into a ground hole. He was interrogated in relation to fighting that took place at Daw Kauk early that month which had killed 5 and wounded 9 other Burmese soldiers. (Source: KNAHR)
On February 2 2000, village youth leader Moh Ieh, 24, of Daw Tamadu, Karenni State was arrested by troops of IB No. 72. He was accused of having connection with Karenni forces and was terribly tortured by the troops. The troops then put him in a ground hole. As of April 2000, he had not been released. (Source: KNAHR)
On February 3, 2000, a private from SPDC LIB 560 deserted the army, taking along with him his sergeant’s MC1 assault rifle, in Tenasserim Township, Tenasserim Division. Thinking that the deserter was heading for Kawk-Bawk village, the Battalion Comdr. and LIB 559’s company Comdr. Capt. Thet Naing and his 80 men went to Kawk Bawk village on February 6, 2000. When they arrived to Kawk Bawk village, the angry Battalion Comdr. That Htun rounded up all the villagers into the church compound. He ordered all the male villagers to search for his deserted soldier and the weapon he took along with him, without failure. He threatened that if they failed to find the deserter and the guns that he would cut down all the beetle nut and coconut palms in the villagers’ plantations and forcibly relocate the villagers to other villages. As the villagers had to stay all day and night in the church compound, some children and elderly people became sick. The church is too small to hold all the villagers at nighttime so that most of the villagers had to sleep outside the church without protection from cold and heat. The sickness increased day by day.
On February 7, 2000 the troops summoned a Manoerone villager called Saw Ba Tin and his wife Naw Si Htoo Nwe to Kawk Bawk. The Battalion Comdr. accused Saw Ba Tin of secretly guiding the deserter from Manoerone to Kawk Bawk and beat him severely. As of February 15 2000 he had not been released.
The same day a woman named Naw Neh Low was called out of the church compound. The Comdr. then tortured her cruelly, accusing her of being the wife of a rebel supporter, as her husband was not in the village. He tied her wrists and ankles, then rolled a bottle repeatedly over her legs, arms and whole body. She was ordered to stand, to squat, to lie on her belly, lie on her back and was tortured inhumanly. Nothing was left for pride as a woman. Her body was repeatedly burned with a piece of burning charcoal. When the troops had entered the village, her husband had been at his rice plantation and dared not to come back when he learned the troops had arrived and what was happening.
On February 9, 2000, LIB 560 Comdr. Thet Htun then called the Kaw Bawk church pastor Saw Maung Naing, saying that the pastor had lied and had in fact helped send the deserter to another place. He beat the pastor, pulled out the pastor’s pubic hair, beat him again and bored his urethra with a chicken quill. He repeatedly tortured the pastor in this way, and interrogated him.
On February 10, 2000, as nobody was able to find the deserter, the LIB 560 Comdr. Thet Htun kicked an old man named Pu Kabaw from the church to the ground. As Pu Kabaw is very old, he received internal injuries as a result of the fall, and bled from his nose and mouth. The same day he sent 5 women, namely Naw Neh Lo, Naw Koray, Naw Kemae, Naw Theh Hpaw, and Naw Tetpwa to a jail in Manndain town. As of the time of the report on February 15 2000, the woman had not been released and the rest of the villagers were still being held in the church compound. (Source: TIR)
On February 6 2000, a villager of Daw Nye Ku in Deemaw Soe Township, Karenni State named Kar Beh, 30, was arrested without reason by the Daw Tamadu based IB No. 72. He was brought to the military base, tortured by the troops, then put in a ground hole, where he was kept for two days. He was released only after an agreement had been reached between the village secretary and the commander. (Source: KNAHR)
On February 7 2000, as a result of soldiers who had deserted the army, Commander Thet Htun from LIB 560 summoned Naw Sein Htoo and her husband Dee Pah Tin of Ma Naw Yow village to come to Kow Powt village, Merqui-Tavoy District, Tenasserim Division. They accused them of protecting the soldiers and beat them severely. The same day, they also accused Kow Powt villager Naw Nay Loh of assisting insurgent groups and helping SPDC troops to desert the army. They then tortured her. They forced her to stand on sharp stones, rolled her shins with bamboo, and burned her with fire torches. (Source: KWO)
On February 22 2000, a PNA (a cease-fire Pa-O group) soldier
named Sai Koong robbed a shop at Parng Kwai, Murng Paeng Township, Shan State
but was caught by the villagers. After the event, on February 23, the PNA
deployed their men to the site and captured, and tortured the villagers who had
tied up their soldier. They beat two villagers named Sai Ku Na and Sai Paet with
a wooden stick and seized whatever property they wanted from the village.
On February 25 2000, a patrol from IB 336 beat an old man who had been relocated to Kho Lam. The victim was Loong Htoon (m), age 70, a former villager of Wan Nong Pha. When his whole village had been forced to relocate, he had chosen to relocate to Kho Lam. Thinking the troops would not harm him because of his old age, he had driven his bullock cart outside of the relocation site to find posts for his new home. On his way he met up with the patrol who beat and interrogated him. He was released, but was seriously wounded and unlikely to recover. (Source: SSANews)
On February 26, 2000, an Akha villager, Aa Nyoo (m), aged 52, was kicked and threatened by a patrol of 12 SPDC troops from LIB328 near Nawng Yaao village, Nawng Long tract, Murng-Khark township as he was collecting firewood with his son Aa Nyoo, 21. He was questioned about Wa soldiers that had passed through 2-3 days before and when he could not answer their questions the troops became angry and accused him of covering for the Wa soldiers. One of the troops who looked like a leader got angry and kicked Aa Nyoo in the stomach, and he fell on his back. Aa Nyoo could not get up even after the troops left and his son had to carry him back to their house. (Source: SHRF)
On March 2, 2000, Column 1 commander, Mya Win, and Column 2 commander, Thein Win, of SPDC IB 735 kicked and beat the villagers contributing voluntary labor in the construction of Mar-lar-daw-Saw-tay-doe motor road. The commanders had commandeered 5 bullock carts from Mar-lar-daw-village and 6 bullock carts from the plains and driven them to Saw-tay-doe village, Nyaung-lay-bin District, Karen State. (Source: KIC)
On March 11 2000, at 8 AM, 28 SPDC troops on patrol from Lai-Kha Township captured 4 innocent villagers in their paddy fields at Pang Oo Sae tract, Lai-Kha township, Shan State. The victims were tied up and beaten with rifle butts and sticks. They were then tied up in pairs until March 12, when they were forced to follow the troops as porters to carry rice. The 4 victims were:
- Loong Phit, age 48, whose arm was broken due to the beating
- Aw Ta, age 25
- Sarng Loo, age 18
- Sarng Lu, age 35
As of the end of April 2000, no news had been received of
their whereabouts after they were taken as porters.
On March 23, 2000 a patrol of about 60 SPDC troops from Murng-Phyak-based LIB333 came to Kawng Mu village, Murng Tawm tract, Murng-Phyak township, Shan State and arrested and tortured 3 villagers, accusing them of being secret intelligence agents of SSA-E. They took them to the village Buddhist temple and interrogated them for 9 hours. The soldiers beat the villagers with rifle butts, kicked them with their army boots and squeezed their testicles until all 3 of them lost consciousness several times. The soldiers demanded 3,000 kyat for the release of each. The victims were: Zaai La (m), age 21, Zaai Pan (m), age 20, and Zaai Long Laen (m) age 32. (Source: SHRF)
On March 26, 2000, 5 villagers, the headman and members of the village committee, of Kham Tee village, Pa Kha Long tract, Murng-Khark township, Shan State, were arrested and tortured by a patrol of 12 SPDC troops from IB227, led by Capt. Kyi Win, after being taken to Wan Tap village in Murng Nung tract. The villagers were accused of helping the ‘Wa’ group in keeping and trafficking in amphetamines. Pu Sen Zala, age 50 suffered from a fractured head, Loong Za Wi, age 41, suffered from a sprained waist, and Loong Pa Pae, age 46, Loong Lee Lo, age 49 and Loong Zalu, age 39 suffered from sprained legs as a result of the torture. (Source: SHRF)
On March 28, 2000, 3 villagers from Nam Lin village in Murng Kok tract, Murng-Sart township, Shan State were arrested, beaten and tortured at the village Buddhist temple, while other villagers were forced to watch, by 60 SPDC troops from Murng-Phyak-based LIB527. They were accused of being SSA-E intelligence agents. The troops beat and kicked them, hit their backs with rifle butts, rolled bamboo stems on their shins and, and used other various torturing methods. When the troops were finished they ordered the village headman to kill a pig and cook them food and provide whiskey. (Source: SHRF)
In April 2000, in retaliation for 2 soldiers that had deserted the army, and then been caught, the Ta Pa Ka [Southern Regional Command] ordered all of the columns from IB #39, 53, 73, and 92 to find the guns of the two deserters. In mid April, troops entered Swa Loh village looking for guns of deserted soldiers, and arrested and tortured many villagers, including men, women, children and old people. Then they drove all the villagers they could capture together into the church and tortured them in many ways and killed some of them. They demanded the villagers look for the guns until they found them, and said that if they could not find them, the soldiers would torture and kill more villagers and burn down the whole village. The villagers knew nothing about the 3 guns that the deserters carried with them because the deserters had already gone to the place where Company #1 [KNLA] was. The villagers were still tortured in many ways and as ordered from above, they burned down ‘xxxxx’ As per their orders from higher up, they had to torture the villagers until they got back their guns." (Source: KHRG)
At 5 a.m. on April 10, 2000, about 30 SPDC troops from Company No. 3 of LIB331 surrounded Huay Sa, an Akha village in Murng Hai tract, Tachilek township, and selectively arrested 6 male villagers. The troops tied the villagers together in the center of the village and interrogated them, accusing them of spying for SSA-E. They were tortured by being beaten, kicked and hit with rifle butts. All the victims suffered from fractured heads, sprains and bruises and could not walk or stand up. Most of the serious wounds were said to have been caused by the beating with rifle butts which was extremely painful and more damaging than the beating and kicking with hands and boots. The victims continuously denied the charges and the troops then called out the village leaders and ordered them to take responsibility and guarantee that the villagers would behave themselves in the future, after which they released the prisoners. Aa To (m), aged 34, was the oldest among the victims and sustained more injuries than the others. He was beaten to near death. (Source: SHRF)
On April 12 2000, a group of USDA members from Hliang Dwin Gwin village, Moulmein township, Mon State approached U Saleh, age 28 because he had not given the required money contribution for the Buddhist new year celebrations. When the man explained that he was too poor to even buy rice for his family, the USDA members severely beat him. As a result of their treatment, the man had to be hospitalized. The matter was reported to the police, but no action was taken. (Source: MICB)
In the second week of April 2000, about 40 soldiers from LIB 273, led by major A-Pae, entered Paunt-Pin-Qwin village, Tenasserim Division. They arrested the secretary of this village, U Ye, age 40 and Moung Pain, both of Mon ethnicity, and accused the men of having contact with a Mon branch out-group. After they captured the men, they tortured them. They beat them with bamboo and burnt them with cigarettes. They asked, "Where is the Mon branch out-group? Give a description of where they are!" and tortured the men in many ways. However, both of the men answered that they knew nothing. The men were not released until the next morning. (Source: THRF)
On April 25, 2000, troops from SPDC IB 48, based in the village of Baw-ga-li, Toun-goo District, Karen State, arrested relocated villagers Saw Ba Ray, Saw Heh Ser and Saw Thana and tortured them. In addition, they arrested Naw Wah Wah and Saw Doe Tha, who were still held in custody as of June 23, 2000. (Source: KIC)
In the last week of April 2000 a villager from PaukpinGwin village, Yebyu Township, Mon State, Nai G— (54 years old) went to his betel-nut plantation secretly following an SPDC order which prohibited villagers from leaving their villages (see chapter on restriction of movement). He was then seen by soldiers from LIB 273 while he was gathering betel-nuts. The soldiers arrested him, tied him up, and tortured him, demanding to know why he had not obeyed the order. Although he explained that he had come to gather betel-nuts to sell so that he could buy rice to feed his family, the soldiers did not trust him and accused him of supporting rebel soldiers. The soldiers poured water down his nose in an attempt to force him to admit that he was a rebel supporter. When he refused, they then rolled a round stick of bamboo up and down his knees and shins until he lost consciousness. The soldiers then left him behind and went into the village where they warned the villagers that if they went to their rice-farms and plantations they would be killed or tortured like Nai G—. After the troops left the villagers brought back Nai G— to village. (Source: HURFOM)
On April 29 2000, about 50 troops from LIB 273, led by Major Aye-Pae, arrived in Paunt-Pin-Qwin village, Ye-Byu Township, Tenasserim Division. They called all the villagers and ordered them to assemble in a field, and to bring their bullock carts without their cows. After all the villagers had assembled, the troops shouted at the villagers, "Why do you have to support the Mon opposition group, why do you accept them? You all are worse than cows!" Then the troops ordered the villagers to pull the bullock carts. Some people were forced to ride on the carts and some had to pull. This happened at midday, and Major Aye-Pae ordered them to continue all day, taking turns riding and pulling. Villagers unable to speak Burmese were ordered to pull more than other people. In addition, villagers who had been in their gardens and arrived late in the village were tortured and beat by the troops. The troops then ordered the village to relocate. The chairmen of Paunt-Pin-Qwin village, U To, age 45, and U Ye, age 40, both of Mon ethnicity, pled with them not to move their village. Yet the troops didn’t listen to them, and instead began torturing them. The 2 men couldn’t stand the torture and managed to run away. Therefore, the troops went and burned both of their houses. The next morning, April 30, Major A-Pae and his troops ordered 20 villagers to go with them as they left. They placed the villagers around the troops as a shield, and released them a ways out of the village. (Source: THRF)
On May 1st, 2000, SPDC troops from Loi Kaw, Karenni State captured an innocent villager named Sai Nyunt Mawng (husband of Nang Khin) in Wan Parng Phone village, Kesi township, Shan State and interrogated and tortured him about the recent death of one of their men who had retired. But the innocent villager knew nothing about this so he was unable to answer their questions. After the interrogation the SPDC soldiers wrote up a statement and ordered him to sign his name on the paper. They threatened him that he could die if he disobeyed. The helpless villager had no choice but to do as they asked. Before they released him they threatened him that if he went back to the village, he must not mention anything about the torture that he had received from them to anyone. The villager then spent a lot of money on treatment for wounds that he had received from the brutal SPDC troops. Later the same day, the same troops captured two village headmen from Wan U Marng and Wan Nong Leng villages, Parng Phone tract, Kesi township, Shan State. The soldiers also interrogated and tortured them. They then released the headman of Wan Nong Leng but the headman of Wan U Marng had to escape by himself. (Source: SSANews)
On May 1 2000, at about 7 AM, a unit of troops from LIB 530 entered Lawkuku village, Kaylya township, Karenni State and ordered all villagers to line-up at the primary school play ground. The Burmese troops then called young girl named Day Mar, 17, out from the lines and beat her in the presence of the other villagers. The troops accused her of having contact with Karenni soldiers. However, the accusation was false. (Source: KNAHR)
On May 1, 2000, Zaai Naw, male, aged 21, from Wan Yaang village in Lang Saad tract, Murng-Phyak township, was arrested while catching fish in Nam Yaan stream and shot at by a patrol of 25 SPDC troops. The troops had come from the direction of Murng Ngen village and after ordering Zaai Naw out of the stream, tied him up a interrogated him while beating and torturing him. The troops wanted to know where former MTA (Mong Tai Army) soldiers had hidden their arms caches. Since Zaai Naw did not know about any hidden arms caches, he could not answer their questions. The troops became angry and shot at Zaai Naw, after which he fell into the stream. Zaai Naw was hit in his left shoulder, and when the troops left the scene, he managed to stagger back to his house. As of June 2000, he was in hiding and treating hiswounds himself. (Source: SHRF)
On May 7, 2000, SPDC troops from IB 286 captured a villager named Sarng Su from Warng Murng, Murng Kerng Township, Shan State. They tortured him and looted 1,400 kyat in cash. After that they went back on their own way. (Source: SSANews)
On May 7, 2000, a group of SPDC troops, led by Zaw Htun Oo, came to Sa-bah-kee village, Toun-goo District, Karen Sate and arrested Saw Sha Loe, secretary of the village committee. They accused him of supporting the resistance and tortured him in various ways. As of June 24, 2000 he was still being held in detention. (Source: KIC)
On May 9, 2000, a column of SPDC troops from LIB 516, led by Maj. Saw Shwe entered Kwakee village, Lopwakoe Province, Karenni State and opened fire on three villagers without questioning them. One of the villagers named Saw Kuku, 24, was injured in the leg. Another two villagers, Karpli, 44, and Saw Nidoh, 33, were captured and tortured by the troops. They were released on the following day with serious wounds. (Source: KNAHR)
On May 17, 2000, troops from SPDC army LIB 546 arrested Saw Maung Aye, M, 28, of Kah-ma-ret-jee village, Doo-pla-ya District, Karen State and tortured him in various ways. They then put him into a cell at Kah-mu-ret camp. On May 19, 2000 he seized a gun and shot and killed the camp commander, Win Tin, and ran away. (Source: KIC)
On May 22, 2000, 30 people from Ohntapin Quarter in Sittwe town, Arakan State surrounded and attacked four Burmese soldiers from IB 20 who had earlier that day physically molested a girl of the same quarter. One of the soldiers died as a result of the villagers’ retaliation, and so at 12:00 o’clock the same night, about 40 soldiers arrived to the quarter and arrested one person from each house. More than 100 residents were tortured and interrogated by the soldiers to reveal the names of attackers. (Source: Mizzima News Group)
On May 30, 2000, SPDC troops from LIB 273 led by battalion
commander Col. Htin Kyaw, entered Sinswe village, Yebyu Township, Mon State and
arrested two men, accusing them of being rebel-supporters. According to
villagers, these two men were innocent farmers who had no background or
relationship with the Mon rebel group. The two men were Nai Krot (28 years old)
and Mehm Kun Blai (18 years) who were born in Sinswe and helped their families
in their paddy farms. After the arrest, the soldiers tortured these two men to
get them to admit that they were rebel soldiers. The soldiers beat them with
their fists, sticks and gun-butts, kicked them with their jungle-boots and also
cut Nai Krot’s face with knives. Then the soldiers took them away to another
village, even though they were in severe pain from the torture. As of the end of
June 2000, those two men had not been released and they were feared to have been
On June 1, 2000, column commander, Tin Myo Khaing, and company commander, Si Thu, from SPDC battalion IB 55 and column commander Lwin Naing of IB 20 arrested, tortured and detained Ka-thwee-day villager, Saw Mah Mu, M, 32 in Toun-goo District, Karen State. As of June 26, 2000 he had not been released. (Source: KIC)
On June 3, 2000, troops led by battalion commander, Han Thu, from SPDC army IB 2 under LID 44, seized and beat up villagers, between Wa-tho-kla and Hsa-law-the, Pa-pun District, Karen State, who were ploughing their paddy fields. The victims were (1) Saw Kyaw Baw, (2) Saw Hsaw Mee Po, (3) Maung Thein, (4) Pah Peh Lone, (5) Saw Htwe Nge, (6) Naw Dah Pah and (7) Pah Kyaw Hgeh. (Source: KIC)
On June 4, 2000, Battalion second in command Sann Aung, from SPDC IB 26 and police station commander Soe Moe Khaing, arrested and beat up the following Maw-ko-doe villagers:
1. Saw Day Ber, M, 35
2. Saw Kay La, M, 25
3. Saw Heh Po, M, 30
They took 9,000 kyat from them and later released them. (Source: KIC)
On June 7, 2000, comedians U Shwe Ghai and Khin Maung Win (a) A-shai-gyi , residents of Kwai-lai ward , Myaungmya township, Irrawaddy division were arrested and taken away for questioning by Sergeant U Kyi Swe, and three lance corporals from the Kha La Ya (94) unit. The two men were bound with rope and beaten before they were taken away in motor vehicle number 7A-4927 to the Kha La Ya (94) unit. While being detained they were questioned about the abduction of Sergeant Kyi Swe’s wife and beaten further until the Captain of the unit intervened and they were released. Upon their release they sought medical treatment for the injuries they sustained while in custody. The hospital authorities advised them they had to file a report with the police before treatment could be given because the nature of the injuries indicated criminal force. After a report was filed they were given medical treatment. (Source: NLD)
On June 7, 2000, troops from SPDC IB 26, based at Baw-ga-li village, Taun-goo District, Karen State, seized and beat villagers whom they disliked. They accused them of having contact with the resistance group and extorted money from them. (Source: KIC)
On June 8, 2000, 50 soldiers from LIB 705, led by Commander Tin Kyaw So, marched to Po Kyaw Village, Dooplaya District and arrested (Christian) Pastor Saw Wah Mu. Soldiers hog-tied and interrogated the pastor with a (rifle) "bayonet pressed on his face." (Source: DIR)
On June 15, 2000, DKBA troops led by Par Taw Sue, went to Par-law-doh village, Pa-pun District, Karen State, and without reason beat up village head Saw Chit Lay and sent him to Paw-tee-ku. (Source: KIC)
On June 20, 2000, in collaboration with the KNPLF, about 60 well-armed soldiers from LIB 337 led by Maj. Aung Naing Oo entered Phukraku village, Kayla Township, Karenni State, and arrested the village tract secretary. The troops accused him of having contact with the Karenni forces, detained him in the Catholic church for 3 nights, and tortured him during this time. He was then told that he would be killed, and forced to go along with the troops to Daw Kuleh village. He managed to escape with the help of other villagers after serving as a porter for 6 days. However, he dared not return home. (Source: KNAHR)
On June 27, 2000, in Pa-pun District, Karen State, troops from SPDC LIB 104 troops arrested Naw Kya Heh and Naw Pah Kyay and tied their hands behind their backs and tortured them. (Source: KIC)
In mid-2000, a man from Thaya-Chaun Township was stopped at
the Pan-Taw quarter checkpoint gate. He was bringing his niece, Ma Tin Ngae, to
hospital because she had been gang-raped and had lost consciousness. The troops
at the gate didn’t check for anything (ID) because of the condition of the
girl, but one of corporals asked why the girl had to be sent to hospital. Ma Tin
Ngae’s uncle answered that it was because SPDC troops had raped the girl. The
corporal then suddenly shouted at Ma Tin Ngae’s uncle, saying, "How
can you say such rude things about our military?!" He then proceeded to
torture Ma Tin Ngae’s uncle so that he also lost consciousness and also had to
be sent to hospital.
On July 1, 2000, at about 8 in the morning, a military column from SPDC IB 59, shot up Saw-mu-doe village, Toun-goo District, Karen State, wounding villager Saw Naw Htoo, M, 25, son of Saw Ngamauk. On the same day, the column came to Si-daw-ko village and arrested an innocent villager, Saw Ta Tu, M, 32 and tortured him by beating. On the same day, battalion commander Myo Aung of SPDC IB 124, summoned heads of the wards in Tharn-daung Town, (1) Saw Nee Doh, M, 40, (2) Saw Kwar Kwa, M 42, (3) Saw Mu Doh, M, 40, (4) Naw Ler Wah, F, 45, and (5) Saw Kyaw Pe, M, 43 and beat them up. (Source: KIC)
On July 2, 2000, a patrol of about 70-75 SPDC troops of Company No.4 from IB99 led by Capt. Aung Htun, with 12 civilian porters, 2 guides and 1 interpreter, searched Nawng Long tract in Larng-Khur township and abused the villagers they found. The burned down all the rice granaries, beat farmers and stole their money and gang-raped women. Lung Zaang Wi, age 51, originally from Kung Sa village, Wan Zid tract lost consciousness for 1 hour and suffered from a broken left leg, Lung Pan Zitta, age 50 originally from Kung Sa village, Wan Zid tract, was blinded in his left eye, Lung Paan Nyo, age 47, originally from Nam Tai village, Wan Zid tract suffered from a broken left arm, Zaai Ma-La, age 39 originally from Wan Kyawng village, Son Oi tract lost consciousness for 1-1/2 hour, and 3 other women, Naang Sai, age 45, Naang Muay, age 36, and Pa Non Zing, age 44 were gang-raped by the troops. (Source: SHRF)
On July 7, 2000, Company Commander Daw Moe Naing of LIB 705 ordered the detention and torture of eight (8) civilians at Kaza (Kawat) Village, Kya Aein Township, Dooplaya District, Karen State. The villagers were identified as: Maung My Aung, m, (20 yrs. old), Ma Hla Sein, f, (23 yrs. old), Muang Paw Aye, m, (54.yrs. old), Ma Win Laing. F, (23 yrs. old), Ma Ngwi Chyi, f, (20 yrs. old), Pho Da Pey, m, (20 yrs old), Naw Mu Kyi. F, (Pregnant) and Pho Naw Wah. F, (27 yrs. old). Pho Naw Wah was severely beaten and "vomited blood." (Source: DIR)
On July 10, 2000, column 2 of LIB 104 accused Naw Say of being the wife of an insurgent and beat her severely. She was from May Nyo Tah village, Papun District, Karen State. (Source: KWO)
On July 12, 2000, troops from a Pa-O militia, led by Captain Nya Tun, captured an innocent villager named Sai Parn, age 29, son of Loong Zong and Pa Ku from Wan Ta Naw village, Loi Sak tract, Murng Paeng township, Shan State. They tortured him without reason and after that they took his left eye out with a dagger. As of September 20 2000, it was still unknown whether the villager was dead or alive as he was still under detention. (Source: SSANews)
On July 12, 2000, Abdul Gaffor son of Amin Ullah, Abdu Ramhim son of Abdul Latif, Abdu Rashid son of Nazir Hussaain and Nizamuddin son of Mohammed Nasim, all of them belonging to Nanragone village in Buthidaung township, Arakan, were arrested by Capt. Kyaw Win of Military Intelligence (MI) No. 18, from NaSaKa area No. 9 with the allegation of having link with and receiving money from their relatives living abroad. They were severely tortured to extract confession so as to extort money. All of them were later released, on 26 July 2000, when Captain Kyaw Win obtained kyat 30,000 from each victim by extortion. (Source: ARNO)
On July 14, 2000, troops from LIB 561 arrived in Ta Hpo Hki area, Mergui District, Tenasserim Division. They captured villager Saw Nya, and accused him because he had a firearm in his possession. The troop tied him to a tree, beat and tortured him and left him by the tree without food or water for one day. (Source: TIR)
On July 17, 2000, troops from LIB 705 surrounded Then Pyu Village, Kya Aein Township, Dooplaya District, Karen State and ordered the village headman to provide 5 porters. The headman was kind enough to grant the request and the soldiers left. The recruited porters were subjected to interrogation, and accused of supporting Karen revolutionary movements. They were all tortured "until they vomited blood" at Shwe Po Ha Village. The porters were identified as: Saw Ka Mo (46 ), Ta Mu Klu (21), Than Pin (23), Saw La Po Cha (26) and Tay Po Gin (22). (Source: DIR)
On August 6, 2000, troops from LIB 427 arrested and tortured all workers on a road construction site 2 miles south of Prusoe city, Karenni State. The workers were accused of having supported Karenni troops who had ambushed 5 military convoy trucks from LIB 427 near Lawjar village, 2 miles south of Pruso city the previous day. The ambush had killed four soldiers and left three others wounded.(Source: KNAHR)
On August 12, 2000, troops from LIB 705, led by Aung Hay, came to Mae-tha-klet village, Kya-in Township, Doo-pla-ya village, Karen State and seized and tortured headman Saw Toe Noh Wah and villager Saw Yweh Htoo of Lay-wah-kha village, headman Saw Thay Paw of Htee-ka-ma-la-ta village and headman Moo Ku Ku of Htee-law-bleh village without any reason. They also demanded 5,625 kyat and a pig estimated worth 15,000 kyat from the headman of Mae-kaw-kee village. (Source: KIC)
On July 17, 2000, in Doo-pla-ya District, Karen State, troops from SPDC LIB 705, led by Column 1 Commander, Aung Hein Chan, beat Kyu-ma-tee villagers Toh Day Baw, 21, and Apain, 27. (Source: KIC)
On August 18, 2000, SPDC troops from IB 109 led by Major Kyaw Naing Zin interrogated villagers at Wan Nong Nang, Ho Khai-Ham Ngai tract, Murng Kerng Township, Shan State about the news of Shan resistance groups. They called on a young villager named Sai Noom, age 13 years, son of Khing Karn and Pa Nang Hom to answer their questions. But the innocent villager did not know anything about the Shan armed troops so he was not able to answer any of their questions. They therefore tied him up and covered his head with a plastic bag so that he could not breathe. Then they kicked, and tortured him as they wished, but before long the boy fainted. On seeing this they thought he was dead, so they left him there alone. As a result of the torture and lack of oxygen, the boy is now suffering as a cripple with an uncertain future. (Source: SSANews)
On August 22, 2000, a combined column of troops from LIB 560, led by 2nd Battalion Commander Maj. Htay Win, IB 101 and Taung Nge village militia (a total of about 200 men) arrived in the Manorone area, Mergui District, Tenasserim Division. They captured a villager called Tee Thu Baw from Hto Hsa Hkee and beat and kicked him severely. Then the troops ordered him to show them the place where the rebels were. Later, they dragged him to Taung Nge village where they again beat him severely and put him into confinement. (Source: TIR)
On September 19, 2000, at 3 a.m., combined troops from the DKBA, led by Moe Gyo, SPDC and LIB 1, led by Bo Kyaw Mint Lwin, and SPDC LIB 118, led by Bo Kyaw Zeya went La-kyo-kho village, Tha-ton District, Karen State and seized and severely beat Saw Chit Tin, M, 40. (Source: KIC)
On the night of September 25, 2000, the combined forces of SPDC IB118, led by Kyaw Soe Naing and DKBA troops led by Moe Gyo, went to the house of Naw Dah (F) in Yo-kla village, Tha-ton District, Karen State and stole 100,000 kyat. That night they also arrested villager Saw Pah Day (M, 45) and severely beat him, accusing him that his son had joined the resistance forces. (Source: KIC)
On September 29, 2000, in Pu-pun District, Karen State, troops from SPDC LIB 93, led by Bo Maung Htwe accused Mae-pu-hta village headman Saw Maung Htwe of being connected with the KNU and tortured him. (Source: KIC)
On October 2, 2000, 4 SPDC troops in plain clothes from LIB520 led by Sgt. Thein Myint beat a man with a stick at his house in the outer market quarter of Murng-Pan town, causing serious injuries to his head. The evening before the day of the incident, Sgt. Thein Myint and 2 soldiers were found by Zaai Wi-La-Sa while stealing chickens from his house. There was still light enough for Zaai Wi-La-Sa to recognize them and so he shouted that SPDC soldiers were stealing his chickens until many people in the neighborhood ran to his house. The chicken thieves, however, managed to escape with one chicken. The next day, Thein Myint and 3 soldiers wearing civilian clothes came back to Zaai Wi-La-Sa’s house and beat him on the head with a stick, splitting his scalp and fracturing his skull. Later, when Zaai Wi-La-Sa and community leaders lodged a complaint with the military authorities, they only said that they would reprimand the soldiers and would not let such thing happen again and gave Zaai Wi-La-Sa 100 kyat to buy medicine. (Source: SHRF)
On October 7, 2000, troops from SPDC LIB (1), led by Bo Myint Lwin and Ko Ko That, went to Mae-naw-theh-khee village, Tha-ton District, Karen State and seized and beat up Maung Htun Lay M, 37, son of Tee Htun Khin and took him to Bee-lin town.(Source: KIC)
On October 9, 2000, troops from SPDC IB 96, Company (2), led by Bo Khin Shwe, combined with troops from the anti- insurgent group came into Mae-paw-hta village, Tha-ton District, Karen State and seized and tortured villager Saw Poo Yo and took him to Kyaik-to town. The troops also extorted 30,000 kyat from Mae-praw-hta village and 15,000 kyat from Htee-pa-doh-hta village. (Source: KIC)
On October 11, 2000, troops from SPDC LIB 289, led by Battalion commander Win Myint, entered paddy field huts in Kaw-law-kah area, Toun-goo District, Karen State and seized and severely beat villagers Saw Kho Kla, M, 32 and Saw Kata M, 38, with out reason. (Source: KIC)
On October 14, 2000, at 11: 00 AM, about 40 soldiers from LIB 427 led by Commander Htin Paw went to Daw Law Khu village, Kaylya Township, Karenni State. As soon they arrived in the village, they abruptly arrested two village chiefs and six villagers and brought them to the village’s primary school and tied them up. The village chiefs were put in a rice sack and beaten by the troops and others were also tortured in different manners. They were accused of connection with the Karenni troops. (Source: KNAHR)
On October 17, 2000, in Pa-pun District, Karen State, the Battalion commander of LIB 2, under LID 44, arrested three Mae-ta-ru-khee villagers, Saw Kyaw Mya (M, 44), Saw Soe Aye, (M, 58) and Saw Toe Nyo while they were on their way to their paddy fields. The troops tied up their hands and beat them severely and forced them to search for arms. They were threatened that they would be killed if they did not find any. (Source: KIC)
On October 17, 2000, a village PDC chairman named Eliyas, son of Bashah Mia of Thay Chaung (Balukali-Molvi Para), 16 miles north of Maungdaw town, Arakan State was arrested and detained by Maj. Sein Maung of Na Sa Ka area No. 3 accompanied by two other Sergeants of MI (18) on false accusation of spying for UNHCR. It may be mentioned that some days before the arrest, the UNHCR of Maungdaw town had given him some tin-sheets for roofing a primary school. For this reason alone he was arrested and detained under false and fabricated charge of unlawful association with UNHCR. He was severely tortured to extract confession. Although he was later released, he was dismissed from his village PDC post. (Source: ARNO)
On October 18, 2000, in Toun-goo District, Karen State, Sargent Kyaw Zaw and Sargent Win Myint from SPDC guerrilla battalion 930 ordered Ku-thay-doe villager Saw Eh Doh, M, 35, son of Saw Ta Nge, to collect a list of family units and beat him severely. The troops also looted chickens, 500 Viss of pork and 25 Viss of cardamom seeds from the villagers. That evening the troops went to Kaw-lor-kah village and threatened and beat villagers Naw Taw Shwe, F, 34, daughter of Saw Kee Na and Saw Ka Ta, M, 32, son of Saw Eh Bwe with out reason. They then looted 30 viss of cardamom seeds from cardamom plantation owners. (Source: KIC)
On October 18, 2000, troops from SPDC LIB 545, led by Company 4 commander Myint Swe, seized Ma-na-kone villager, Saw Kway, near Kaw-ka-reik Town and tortured him, without reason, knocking out 2 teeth. (Source: KIC)
On October 18, 2000, sergeant Kyaw Zaw from and Win Myint IB 92 beat and tortured Kaw Law Kar villager, Naw Thar Shwe, age 34, without reason. (Source: KWO)
On the evening of October 20, 2000, SPDC guerilla troops took the village headman of Htee-tha-blu village, Toun-goo District, Karen State, tied him up, beat him and demanded curry and meat from him. (Source: KIC)
On November 19, 2000, troops from SPDC LIB 401 seized Kler-kee villager, Saw Paw May, and tortured him in the Taung-thone-lone area, Mergui-Tavoy District, Karen State. They asked their tactical commander to issue an order instructing those concerned to come with 2 guns as ransom for the villager. (Source: KIC)
On December 9, 2000, SPDC troops from IB 226 arrested 2 Lahu villagers, Aa Yu (m), aged 30 and Kya Waa (m), aged 29, of Paang Waai village in Loi Muay tract, Kaeng-Tung township, Shan State who had gone out to cut some firewood in the woods near the village. The troops accused the men of stealthily cutting wood in the woods designated for the military and severely beat them up. They threw the men to the ground, kicked them with their army boots, and Kya Waa’s forehead was fractured when a soldier beat him with a rifle butt. After that, the troops forced them to bundle up and carry the firewood they had cut to the military base and, after they reached the base, said to them, "Don’t come and steal firewood again. You will get harsher punishment next time". Aa Yu and Kya Waa did not understand why they were punished for cutting the trees, as they had planted these trees by their own hands. (Source: SHRF)
4.6 Partial list of incidents of death resulting from torture in 2000
On January 22, 2000, a patrol of 50-60 SPDC troops from IB246, led by Capt. Aung Moe, traveling with 14 civilian porters, came to a rice farm at Nawng Hai, about 3 miles from Kun-Hing town, where a man and his 2 children were threshing rice. The villagers were: Lung Ti (m), aged 40, Naang Ser (f), aged 18, and Zaai Lu (m), aged 11. The troops arrested the villagers and then tied them up. They were separated, interrogated, beaten and tortured. Lung Ti and Zaai Lu were beaten to death during interrogation, but Naang Ser was repeatedly raped before eventually also being beaten to death. The nephew of Lung Ti, one of the civilian porters was present during the incident and was beaten when he tried to intervene. He later died of his injuries. (Source: SHRF)
On January 24, 2000, 30 SPDC troops of Co.3 of IB66 led by
Capt. Khin Maung Win accused a villager of setting fire to the market place and
shot him dead in the military camp at Kho Lam village, Nam-Zarng township. The
victim was interrogated and tortured for some time before being shot. The troops
searched his house and took away 14,600 kyat of money, 4 Baht weight of gold
ornaments, a cow worth 3,600 kyat and 1 tape-recorder worth 5,000 kyat.
On February 12, 2000, one Abdul Kalam (42) son of Abdul Hashim of Kranthama Palaytaung village (Maghbil) under Buthidaung township was arrested and tortured to death by forces of the Western Area Command for resisting the order of the No. 522 battalion commander to demolish his house when the whole villagers have been ordered to vacate their village and lands for the settlement of the new Buddhist settlers. The following day, the dead body was buried by the Western Area Command members themselves without giving information to the family of the deceased. Rather, the forces then forcibly demolished his house on the same day. (Source: ARNO)
On February 25, 2000, about 25 SPDC troops of IB226 from Loi Muay, led by Lt. Hla Win, arrested 3 Kachin villagers and took them to a Shan village, Wan Oi, in Murng Khawn tract. They tortured and interrogated them at the village Buddhist monastery, forcing them to give information about amphetamine dealers and the routes they used. Ma Sai (m), aged 46 was beaten to death. Hla Win ordered a Shan villager from Wan Oi to go and call the Kachin village headman of Waeng Manaw to come immediately. When he arrived, Hla Win said, "He confessed he was an amphetamine dealer. We had questioned him a little bit too harshly and he became very frightened and died. Our medic said this man had a heart disease. You should collect money among the villagers and conduct a funeral rite for him". The other 2 victims were seriously wounded. One got a fractured head and bleeding wounds, and the other had bruises all over and injuries to his waist and could not walk. They had to be carried back by their fellow villagers. (Source: SHRF)
On May 15, 2000, U Kabir, a Muslim man from Laing Daw village, Papun Township, Karen State died, "with blood pouring out of his mouth" due to severe torture by SPDC officers. He had been arrested 2 day prior to his death by a group of SPDC soldiers led by Lt. Aung Soe of LIB 19, accused of contacting opposition groups, and then severely tortured by the troops. (Source: MICB)
On June 4, 2000, Mohammed Ayub, son of Mr. Jafar Meah, age 30, a resident of Bawlibazar (Kyin Chaung), about 15 miles north of Maungdaw town, Arakan State was detained at NaSaKa (Western Area Command) headquarters by Major Min Min Oo under a false and fabricated charge of unlawful association with insurgents. He has been tortured to obtain confession and is feared to have died during interrogations. (Source: ARNO)
In July 2000, soldiers from LIB No. 208 arrested Saw Pae Din in the jungle of Kya Ein Seik Kyi Township, Karen State and interrogated him about the activities of KNU and Karen soldiers. As the villager could not speak Burmese well, the soldiers were dissatisfied with his answers and accused of being a rebel informer. During the interrogation, the soldiers tortured him using various methods and after a one-day interrogation, the soldiers killed him. Soon after, the same soldiers arrested villager Saw Kyaw Myint and accused him of being an informer for Karen soldiers. After severe torturing, he was also killed in a similar fashion to Saw Pae Din. Additionally, three other Karen villagers from the same village, Saw Kalar Pyaung, Saw Aung Myat and Saw Phar Kalort were also arrested and killed by LIB No. 208 soldiers under the same accusation. (Source: HURFOM)
On July 5, 2000, troops from SPDC LIB 214 and columns from LIB 55 arrested Saw Kwah, 24 and Saw Tha Kler, 55 in Toun-goo District, Karen State. They burned Saw Kwah’s face with a cigar, severely tortured him and then poured gunpowder on his head and burned him to death. The troops forced Saw Tha Kler to sleep in a mud pond and suffocated him to death. (Source: KIC)
On August 6, 2000, SPDC LIB 421 entered Law Jar village in Pruso Township, Kaylya Township, No. (1) district of Karenni State, and arrested the headman (name was not available) and secretary named Ko Reh. Ko Reh was tortured to death in the village while the headman was taking to Pruso police station where he was detained for one day. On August 8 he was released after being questioned. (Source: KNAHR)
In first week of August, 60 troops from IB 31 entered Win-laung village, and summoned the village chairman, Saw Lat Kae (54 years old). The soldiers then arrested him, tied him up, and accused him of being a rebel supporter and informer. They detained, interrogated and tortured him for six days without giving him anything to eat. The soldiers cut his body with knifes and sometimes burnt him to get him to admit that he was a rebel-supporter. After 9 days of interrogation and severe torture, the soldiers killed him. Similarly when a Karen farmer, Saw Phar Tort (40 years old) returned to his village from farm, he was arrested on the way and the same group of soldiers accused him of having contact with Karen rebels. When the man protested that he knew nothing, he was tortured and then shot point blank in the mouth with a full round of bullets, which killed him instantly.(Source: HURFOM)
On September 21, 2000, several NLD youth members were arrested for showing up at Rangoon railway station when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had attempted to travel to Mandalay, They were taken to Insein Prison, where they were continually taken away from their cells and interrogated three or four nights in a row. During these sessions, intelligence agents saying, "So, you want to travel by rail, do you?" forced the youths to make sounds like trains traveling and whistling, all the while beating them up for either "traveling too fast" or "whistling too loud." (Source: HRDU)
On October 13, 2000, SPDC authorities led by the Kyaik Hto Township USDA general secretary, U Tin Khin and police chief U Myo Naing arrested 2 Muslim men from Kyaik Hto town, Pegu Division, accusing them of contact with the NLD. The 2 men, U E Soof, age 24 and U Hassan, age 26 were brought to the Kyaik Hto police station and were so brutally tortured that both of them died. (Source: MICB)
On October 18, 2000, a patrol of about 80 SPDC troops led by Capt. Tin Aung beat and tortured to death a displaced farmer, Zaai Pan-Zit-Ta, aged 24, 2-1/2 miles south of Ka Li village relocation site in Kun-Hing township. He was captured by the troops while searching for work as a hired day laborer and then interrogated and tortured after the troops accused him of being a Shan rebel. (Source: SHRF)
On December 24, 2000 5 armed soldiers from IB 269 based in Dee-Dain city entered the house of U Toun Zin while they were performing their Christmas Eve prayer. The soldiers then proceeded to torture the house members, who lived in Sa-Kaw-Lan Quarter, Dee-Dain City, Chin State. (Source: PD Burma)
4.7 Personal Accounts
Religion: Roman Catholic
Address: Daw-Pa-Pa village and Tee Lone group
Marital Status: Married with a son and 2 daughters
Date of arrival in the refugee camp: February 20, 2001
Before I came here I had to hide in the forest with my 5 family members and my sister-in-law. There was 6 of us altogether. We hid in the eastern part of Daw-Pa-Pa village where very few people go and we had to work as day laborers. I had to leave my family in this place and go to find work as a day laborer. There was no stability working as I did on the Shan State and Karreni State border, yet I was able to get a little bit of money and after 3 or four days, I was able to buy some food and go back to my family. I was really sad because sometimes there was only boiled rice soup to eat and my children were asking me for a full rice meal. I was only able to find work if the Burmese military units were stable. I couldn’t t always find work, because if the Burmese military units had seen me, they would’ve surely arrested me. I was always running and hiding from them, and they were always trying to arrest me. Finally I met some people from other villages who were planning to come here. Without taking time to think, I decided to come here with them.
Daw Pa Pa was located in the north-eastern part of Loikaw township, and in 1998, the military ordered the village to move to nearby Wan-Ngae village. The new village site was named new Daw-Pa-pa. I was happier in old Daw Pa Pa than in new Daw Pa Pa. There were very good fields in our old village, but in the new village there was nothing and everything was not OK for us.
On February 20, 2000, in the afternoon, Burmese military unit 54, officer Aung Kyi and 30 soldiers came to my house in new Daw Pa Pa and tortured me without asking any questions. Then they tied my hands behind my back and took me to Low Lin military camp. In the camp jail, they took away all of my clothes and fed me only a little bad rice two times a day. Officer Aung Kyi put his feet on my stomach and then twisted the heel of his boots into my stomach. He accused me of being a Karenni Soldier and didn’t believe me when I said no. He then ordered me to open my mouth and poured hot water from a thermos into my mouth. When I slept at night they didn’t give me a blanket and forced me to sleep naked. At midnight they poured water over me and ordered me to sleep in the muddy water. They also put my legs into "Chaount Pont" (stocks) until the morning. They asked me many things but didn’t accept it when I said I didn’t know anything. They beat me in the stomach, back shoulders and face and I couldn’t eat for 3 or 4 days. They didn’t allow me to meet any of my relatives or brothers and sisters, and they swore at the chairman. (of his village) At that time, in my mind, there was nothing without God. They tortured me for 20 days and after that, on Christmas Eve, I broke out of the stocks and ran away. I couldn’t stay in my village, but I went to my house for a few minutes and took some food and clothes before leaving the village again soon after. Then, even though I was staying outside of the village, I was still afraid for my family and so I took all of my family and we went and hid in the forest. We waited to find people with a plan to come here, we stayed in the forest for one year and one month.
A month after I ran away, officer Aung Kyi came into the village again and arrested 30 villagers from Daw Pa Pa. Mi Ral, a 55 year old man who came here with me, was part of that group who was arrested. The 30 villagers had been cooking and eating dog meat and bathing near a stream, when the Burmese military saw them, accused them of supporting the Karenni resistance, and arrested them.
When the Burmese military units come into village, they always arrested people and killed whatever chickens and pigs that they wanted to eat. They continuously demanded rice. The villages had to pay porter fees again and again. Even now, whenever a dog barks, we fear that it is the Burmese military unit coming and feel the urge to run away.
When I was hiding in the forest, I was always worried whether the Burmese military would come or not, and I feared for my family and for our food supplies, our health and the future of the children. Every night I didn’t get a good sleep. Even though I had the mind to fight back against the Burmese military, I couldn’t do any thing. Now that I have arrived here, I feel like I am free from hell. Here there is no Burmese military to be afraid of, and we don’t really have to worry about our health and livelihood. Even if we can’t get money, this is better than our life was in hiding. And our minds are more free from worry here than in the forest.
Name: Mi Ral
Parents: Qual Ral and Thoe Myar
Religion: Roman Catholic
Address: Daw Pa Pa village, Tee Lone group
Marital Status: Married with 3 sons and a daughter
Date of arrival in the refugee camp: February 20 2001
In 1998, the Burmese military ordered us to move our village. We had to move to near Wan Ngwe village, we called it new Daw Pa Pa village. I had the only job in my family, which was as a farmer. However, it was difficult for my family to survive and even though we worked all year, we didn’t have enough food to eat.
When we were staying in the new Dae Pa Pa village, the Burmese military, which was based at the Loikhaw camp ordered us to do forced labor 3 days a time. The villagers had to leave their jobs to go for the forced labor. They ordered that one person from every family must go, so my eldest son or I had to go to do the forced labor. We had to go without fail, otherwise they would have fined or punished us. The forced labor that they made us do was to clean, dig trenches, cut bamboo, make booby traps ( by cutting pieces of bamboo into sharp stakes), fence the army’s residential gardens, draw water, cut firewood and work on construction projects. When we went to do the forced labor we had to bring our own food supplies and things. The military only ordered us to work, they had no intention of giving us rice or water. In addition to the forced labor, we were required by the Burmese military to send chicken, pork and vegetables to their military camp three times a week. We had to send a person to their camp every day to act as messengers and informers, in rotation duty. They always beat and tortured the messengers if they were unable to give news or do exactly as they ordered.
Besides a few people who were able to make a living and get a little bit to eat, there were no rich people in our village. As the villagers were poor, the village was very poor. We had no clinic or medic to attend to our health, and even though we had a school we had no teacher. Yet we were a little OK because there were some "RC" religion volunteers who were teachers and medics for us and didn’t ask for money. We couldn’t go to clinics in the cities because we had no money. Last year teachers asked a school fee of 600 kyat per student for the primary school in our village. There was also a different fee for the books. The teachers taught the children for two weeks after they opened the school and then they went back to their homes and didn’t come back. It was their duty to teach in our village. We heard that they are living in Loi-Khaw now.
We are poor people, and our minds were always poor (depressed) because when the Burmese military came into our village, they accused us of communicating with, supporting and feeding Karenni rebels. They arrested us, beat us, punched us and frightened us. In April 1999 when I was a chairman, the LIB No. 250 with 50 soldiers came into our village and arrested me. Soldiers began punching me as soon as I arrived to the LIB 250 jail. The military interrogated me day and night in many torturous ways. They accused me of being a Karenni informer and supporter. They forced me to hit my head against a concrete wall, and if I didn’t hit it hard or fast enough, they made me run against the wall again and hit my head with force. My head and my forehead hurt a lot and there was a lot of blood. Even now my eyes are bad. (from that torture) They put me in jail for 3 days without food or water. After 3 days they fed me a little food once a day, and then twice a day. I didn’t get chance to meet with my relatives and children. Because they didn’t get any answers from me, they didn’t interrogate me again. But I had to stay in the LIB 250 jail for 40 days before they released me. Upon my release they warned me not to tell anyone about anything or go anywhere when I got back to my village. They threatened that if they heard anything they would arrest me again, and that the next time (I was arrested) it would be worse. When I returned to my village, I didn’t act as chairman again and just tended to my fields.
On January 15, 2000, 7 months after they arrested me, it was Karenni National Day, yes, and about 30 people from our village were roasting and eating a dog at the stream where our village bathes. Military officer Aung Kyi and his 70 soldiers from the Burmese military Unit LIB 54, suddenly came and arrested us with out any questions. Some were sent to LIB 250 jail and some were sent to LIB 261 jail. They sent 6 people to LIB 54 jail, including my son and I. There were two people from Shar-Taw who had been arrested before us, so including them, there were 8 people. 5 days after we arrived they fed us a little rice, with no curry. They told us to eat it with salt. They took us in an army car on the 5th day. When they transported us, they tied our hands behind our backs and covered our heads with black cloth. After 10 minutes, they ordered us to be removed from the car, and we were in a different building. We didn’t know where we were. They put all of us in a small cell, and then after a few minutes began interrogating us one by one. They shocked us with an electric wire and beat us with sticks. They order me to hit my head against stone and burnt our shoulders with burning cheroot ends. Then they tied our hands behind our backs again and put us in the dark cell all day. We were all in so much pain, and so hungry and thirsty and couldn’t feel anything. We all cried. The next day, they sent us back to LIB 54 jail. Even though they fed us, we couldn’t eat it. I think the place where we were interrogated was the MI 27 military unit. We were detained at LIB 54 jail for 30 days and then they sent us to LoiKhaw city police camp again. At that time we had a chance to meet with our families. We were detained for another 20 days at the central city police camp and then we had to enter into agreements. They made us pay 1,500 kyat per person before we were released. The people who had been detained at the LIB 250 and LIB 261 camps were interrogated for about 2 weeks and then released in ones and twos over the following few days. Our group was the last group. (to be released)
The people who were tortured at the LIB 54 jail with me were
1) Mi Ral (Daw Pa Pa village )
2) Mi Ral’s son, Palyl Ral , age 17 (Daw Pa Pa)
3) Sue Ral age 58 (Daw Pa Pa)
4) U Ral age 30 (Daw Pa Pa)
5) Pa-Ra-Ral age 18 (Daw Pa Pa)
6) Poe Ral age 35 (Daw Pa Pa)
7) Soe Ral age 60 (Shar Taw village )
8) Don’t know the name, about 40 years old. (Shar Taw village)
Later on, even while staying in our villages, we would be terrified if we heard the voices of the Burmese military. We would drop everything and run, and because of this fear we couldn’t do our jobs very well. We were afraid to go to serve as forced laborers even though the military ordered it. We wanted to run far away from the Burmese military, who don’t think of us as human, and just use arms against. They arrest us as they like, and torture us as they like. So we had to come here. Now my family is far away from the Burmese military, yet we are always longing for our relatives, our brothers and sisters and the people of our village.
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