Beaten, kicked within the groin and threatened with sexual violence — a younger Myanmar teenager detained by the junta’s safety forces has described the treatment suffered by some women and ladies behind bars.
Ma Chaw, 17, and her mom had been arrested on April 14 in Yangon, Myanmar’s business capital, which has been blanketed with heavy safety for the reason that army seized energy in a coup. As they had been strolling to a good friend’s home from a morning protest, she mentioned, they had been stopped by two safety vans.
“They forced us to crouch face-down on the ground,” Ma Chaw informed AFP. The highschool scholar then confronted six days of concern and anxiousness, held with women who alleged torture and abuse by police behind closed doorways.
Ma Chaw mentioned she herself needed to endure a police officer molesting her throughout an interrogation session.
The teenager was launched on April 20, however her mom was not as lucky — she was as a substitute taken to Yangon’s Insein jail.
“My mother is my only family,” she mentioned. “I’m very worried for her safety and life.” To safe her launch, she mentioned, she needed to signal paperwork saying she suffered “no torture” behind bars.
“It’s the opposite of what they have done,” Ma Chaw mentioned. “It is totally unacceptable and unfair.”
Her mom is amongst greater than 3,800 civilians arrested and nonetheless languishing behind bars for the reason that February 1 coup, in response to native monitoring group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Little is understood in regards to the situations of detainees throughout Myanmar, as these launched not often converse out about it.
Ma Chaw mentioned she and her mom had been taken first to an area police station the place they had been questioned individually. “I was touched by a police officer, who told me he could kill me and make me disappear,” she mentioned.
“If I didn’t push his hand away, I’m sure he would have continued.” She added that her mom was slapped twice throughout her interrogation.
The following day, they had been taken to a detention centre on Yangon’s northern outskirts the place they met different women, some of whom had bruises throughout their our bodies.
One of them — a lady who had been in a relationship with a foreigner — was crushed so badly she may barely speak or eat, Ma Chaw mentioned.
“We had to feed her fried egg and rice,” she mentioned. “She told us she couldn’t urinate because her women parts had been kicked during the interrogation.”
The National Unity Government — an underground group of ousted lawmakers opposing the junta — has introduced it’s investigating the “allegations of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in unlawful detention”.
“These cases are indicative of the wider pattern of sexual and gender-based violence committed by Myanmar’s military that has persisted for years with impunity, particularly against ethnic minority women and girls in armed conflict areas,” it mentioned in a press release.
Another girl held in the identical detention centre as Ma Chaw recalled comparable experiences. Both women have been given pseudonyms as a result of of the sensitivity of their allegations.
Ngwe Thanzin informed AFP she and 4 others had been protesting in Yangon’s South Okkalapa township after they had been arrested.
“I was kicked in my face for having a black mask in my bag,” she mentioned, including that safety forces additionally yelled misogynistic abuse at them.
The women had been then taken to the identical detention centre as Ma Chaw, the place Ngwe Thanzin mentioned she was handcuffed so tightly it left marks on her wrists.
“They also threatened us saying they could kill us and make us disappear without anyone knowing it,” she informed AFP.
During her three-night detention, she mentioned she noticed a 19-year-old lady bruised so badly she may barely stand.
“They don’t beat or torture in front of other people. But when people were individually interrogated, they came out with bruises.”
AFP was unable to independently confirm the allegations made by Ma Chaw and Ngwe Thanzin.
Repeated makes an attempt to contact the junta spokesman for a response went unanswered.
And junta-appointed Minister of Social Welfare Thet Thet Khine — who chairs a National Committee on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence in Conflict — couldn’t be reached for remark.
Ngwe Thanzin mentioned the least the junta may do was have feminine safety personnel accessible to interrogate them, as a substitute of males.
“All our rights and dignity were violated and abused,” she mentioned. “Since we have no rights, I felt we were like water in their hands.”