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Burma

Soldiers Commit Gang rape in Karen State: Villagers


By SAW YAN NAING Monday, June 1, 2009


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A gang rape against an ethnic Karen woman committed by Burmese soldiers has been reported in Karen State in eastern Burma

Villagers in Kawkareik Township claimed that a 30-year-old Karen woman was taken from her farm hut to the jungle and raped by soldiers of Infantry Battalion 283 led by Capt Htay Win on May 25, according to the Karen Information Center, a Karen news organization.

In his article at The New York Times newspaper on May 27, the former UN human rights special rapporteur to Burma, Sergio Pinheiro, urged the UN Security Council to undertake an investigation into crimes against humanity in Burma committed by the Burmese military regime.  

Pinheiro said that for the past two decades, ethnic minorities in Burma—more than one-third of the population—have not received enough of the world’s attention, adding that, “For Burma's process of national reconciliation to be successful, the
plight of the minorities must also be addressed.”

In 2007, the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) released a report titled: “State of Terror,” highlighting the campaign of abuse against women in Karen State, including rape, torture and forced labor.

The KWO said it documented more than 4,000 cases of abuse, including rape, murder, torture and forced labor over the past few years in more than 190 villages by troops from more than 40 Burmese Army battalions. Many of the human rights violations were from late 2005 through 2006.  

Many of the abuses took place during o¬ngoing military offensives in eastern Burma since early 2006, which have displaced more than 25,000 civilians and have forced thousands of refugees to seek safety along the Thai-Burmese border.

The former UN human rights envoy also advocated that the UN Security Council form a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity and impunity in Burma.  

Meanwhile, Zipporah Sein, the general secretary of the ethnic Karen National Union, said that it is time for the UN Security Council to take action against the Burmese regime’s use of systematic rape in ethnic minority areas.    

Pinheiro also said that he received a report in 2000 estimating 625 women were systematically raped in Burma's Shan State over a five-year period. However, there was not a single account of a successful prosecution.    

The former UN special rapporteur said in December 2008 a Burmese soldier went into an ethnic Karen village in eastern Burma and abducted, raped and killed a 7-year-old girl. Authorities refused to arrest the soldier; instead, officers threatened the parents with punishment if they did not accept a cash bribe to keep quiet.

During the past 15 years, the Burmese Army has destroyed more than 3,300 villages
in a systematic and widespread campaign to subjugate ethnic groups, Pinheiro said. UN reports indicate that Burmese soldiers have recruited child soldiers, used civilians as minesweepers and forced thousands of villagers into slave labor, he said.

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M'pearl Wrote:
04/06/2009
This is not the start (more than 6 decades) and won't be the end until the UNSC takes action against the SPDC. The UNSC must open their eyes and ears now.

sawlu Wrote:
03/06/2009
Ted,

Karen rape ethnic Burmese too.

nono Wrote:
02/06/2009
This is something very new for the UN Security Council. They don't want to take action now. Maybe they want to wait until they see Than Shwe rape and kill one of their members (UNSC)

Madeleine Blu Wrote:
02/06/2009
This comment is in regard to the phrase 'Burmese Army':

I think that the terms: military regime; junta; or SPDC more accurately reflects the actions of these monsters. Using the phrase 'Burma Army' or 'Burmese Army' could be confused with the pre-regime Burma Army.

Similarly, 'militia' would be better than 'soldier'. If anyone would like to discuss this with me please leave your comment and I will reply.

Ted Wrote:
01/06/2009
Ethnic Karen women has been raped since Burma Independence Army's era; what's the difference now?

metanu Wrote:
01/06/2009
How shall we call that?.."internal affairs"? Any kind of outrage committed against Burmese people and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became just an "internal affair." How long will the people endure that fake truth?

chom Wrote:
01/06/2009
The DSA and ODS must be closed and burned down to the ground. The products of these schools are arsenals of the country. No discipline and humanity are instructed but brutality on the helpless.

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