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Myanmar military uses 'systematic' torture on minorities

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New report shows trust in government low

A new report published by Bangkok-based human rights group Fortify Rights claims that Myanmar's security forces-including army, police and military intelligence-regularly torture innocent civilians in the country's three year fight in Kachin state.

A new report details the systematic torture the Myanmar military is performing on civilian minorities.

A new report details the systematic torture the Myanmar military is performing on civilian minorities.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/9/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: International, Asia, Myanmar


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The June 9 report is based on interviews the group conducted with 78 survivors and witnesses of the systematic violence, including stabbings, beatings and having wire tied around their necks.

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"The torture and the abuses taking place right now in Kachin state constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and very little is being done to stop it," said Matthew Smith, the group's executive director.

Myanmar has been engaged in some sort of conflict with independence-minded ethnic-minorities since 1948, after the county gained independence from Britain.

The country had been under military rule for decades, but in 2011, sweeping reforms set up a semi-civilian government. Charges of these abuses have made some worry that the military is not as dedicated to the transition, as it first appeared to be.

The United Nations reports that 100,000 civilians have been displaced since fighting between the government and the Kachin Independence Army erupted in June of 2011, after a 17-year ceasefire.

Jay Ya, a 32-year-old teacher is one of those displaced. She fled her home when the village was attacked, but her young son drowned while crossing a river.

"I couldn't hold onto my child and he was washed away," she said.

These accusations have harmed the government's reformist image, especially after the military ignored a cease-fire order by President Thein Sein on December 2011.

A coordinator with the Kachin Peace Network civil society group, Khon Ja, explained why parts of the country are mistrustful of government negotiations.

"The president takes no action if his commands are not implemented," she said. "That's why we cannot trust Thein Sein."

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