Calls for investigation after rape and death of 8-year-old girl

26 October 2015
Calls for investigation after rape and death of 8-year-old girl
An 8-year-old girl, Htay Htay San, has died in Yangon Hospital on 21 October after being raped, allegedly by a Myanmar solider. Photo: Narinjara

The Women’s League of Burma has called for an investigation into the brutal rape of an 8-year-old girl in Sittwe, Rakhine State who later died of injuries sustained in the attack.
The WLB said in a press release on October 25, that Htay Htay San was raped at her house in Danyawaddy (A) Quarter of Sittwe on September 22, allegedly by a soldier, Lance Corporal Nay Win Aung, from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 354 in Sittwe.
The police arrested the soldier but were later asked by alleged culprit’s regiment to hand him over to them to face charges in a military court.
The girl was not only raped but suffered from 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 on October 21.
The WLB says 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 rumours that she had not been raped. WLB suspects that these rumours 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.
WLB says that under consecutive military governments, rape has been used systematically against ethnic women and girls by the Myanmar 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, the NGO said.
WLB has called on 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, the NGO says.