The school girl, Nhkum Hkawn Din, was apparently attacked last month, July 27, near Nam Sai village of Bhamo District in Kachin State on her way to bring rice to her brother who was working in a paddy field, said well-informed rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
She went missing 9 pm that evening, CSW said. "Three days later, her naked body was found 200 meters from an army checkpoint. Her clothes, slippers and rice basket were also found.” CSW quoted a local witness as saying Burma Army soldiers followed the teenager on her way to the paddy field. “After her body was found other witnesses testified that they had seen soldiers leave that area after the time she had disappeared."
Family members have reportedly said her skull had been completely crushed, her eyes gouged out, her throat cut, all her facial features "obliterated." The girl was allegedly stabbed several times, including in her stomach and right rib cage. “Her family and local villagers claim to know which soldiers carried out the attack, but local authorities refused to take any action,” CSW added in a statement to BosNewsLife. Authorities had no comment.
RAPE AS WEAPON
The use of rape as a weapon of war by the Burma Army is widespread and systematic in Burma, with over a thousand cases documented by women's organizations among Burma’s ethnic nationalities, according to CSW investigators.
CSW said it has interviewed many Kachin, Chin, Karen, Karenni and Shan women who have been raped. In 2007, four school girls who had been gang-raped were charged with prostitution and jailed when they reported the incident, the group said.
UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s visit to Burma follows a recent visit by the new UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, who claimed to have found positive signs that the regime would co-operate with him on human rights. However CSW Advocacy Director Alexa Papadouris told BosNewsLife that the "latest tragedy is another example of the grotesque barbarism of the military regime in Burma."
The CSW official said it was also "evidence that despite what the regime tells UN envoys, they continue to perpetrate crimes against humanity and a culture of impunity." CSW said is has urged the UN to introduce specific benchmarks for progress, such as the release of political prisoners and an end to the use of rape, with deadlines.
The UN Security Council has described rape and sexual violence as a crime against humanity in Resolution 1820 passed on June 19 this year. "We believe that the Generals ruling Burma should be brought to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity," Papadouris said.
Rights groups say especially predominantly Christian groups have been attacked by Burmese troops, as they are viewed as a threat to the power base of the military government of Burma, which is also known as Myanmar. The government has in the past denied human rights abuses, describing such reports as Western propaganda.
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