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Statement on the Death of Rape Victim Htay Htay San

By Women's League of Burma  •  October 25, 2015

Htay Htay San, aged eight, youngest daughter of Aung Hla Sein and Khin Htwe Yee (deceased), was raped at her house in Danyawaddy (A) Quarter of Sittwe at around 10:30 pm on September 22, 2015, by Lance Corporal Nay Win Aung, from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 354 in Sittwe.

After Htay Htay San was sent for medical treatment to Sittwe General Hospital on September 23, the accused, Nay Win Aung, came to the house of the victim, where he was arrested by the police and quarter authorities. He was then detained at Sittwe No. 1 Police Station. However, while the police were investigating the case, Nay Win Aung’s regiment asked the police to hand him over to face charges at a military court, and he was therefore handed over to LIB 354 on September 25.

The girl was not only raped but suffered serious malnutrition. Civil society organizations in Sittwe, including the Rakhine Women’s Union, gave support to her during her stay in hospital. However, her health deteriorated, and on October 8, after sixteen days of treatment at Sittwe, the Sittwe Social Network arranged for her to be referred to Yangon General Hospital. She passed away there at 01:05 pm on October 21.

Before Htay Htay San passed away, she herself, as well as family witnesses, talked about the rape several times. However, while she was being treated at Sittwe General Hospital, there were frequent rumors that she had not been raped. WLB suspects that these rumors were deliberately spread by the perpetrator’s regiment, who do not want the truth to emerge. Another suspicious fact is that Htay Htay San’s medical report has not been released since the day she first underwent a medical check-up at Sittwe General Hospital. This appears to be a deliberate act by the authorities to cover up the truth of the crime.

Under consecutive military governments, rape has been used systematically against ethnic women and girls by the Burma Army. The fact that such crimes are continuing and still being covered up by military authorities, raises strong doubts about the commitment of the current government to democratic reform. If ethnic women still have to live under the threat of military sexual violence, with no guarantees of justice, it is evident that the long-standing system of impunity for military rape is still in place.

Therefore, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) strongly urges the relevant authorities to ensure that justice is served in this latest case, and that the perpetrator is charged. The government must start prioritizing its citizens’ security over its army’s reputation if it is genuinely committed to democratic reform.

 

Media Contacts :
Saw San Nyein Thu +66 856170581
Ngai Ngai +66 932830405

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