(News) State Prosecutor Files Terrorist Law Suits Against Severely Tortured Civilians Despite Military Promised to Punish Mishandling Security Forces in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Narinjara photo taken at the court in Sitteay on May 22. Daw Ni Ni Aye, mother of accused Nyi Nyi Aung is sad and crying when she learns her son is charged with terrorist laws. 
Sittway. May 22, 2020
State prosecutor files with counter terrorist laws suits against five civilians, who were severely and cruelly tortured on the navy ship by the government security forces and military promised to punished the mishandling soldiers, today at the district court in Sittway, capital city of Rakhine State. 

The accused are Nyi Nyi Aung, 24, Myo Lin Oo, 24, Maung Chay, 24, Min Soe, 38, and Kyaw Win Hin, 22. They were arrested in Kyauk Seil village, Ponnaygun township, on April 19.

The solders wearing civilian cloth and semi military uniforms cruelly and inhumanly tortured these five accused on the navy ship and threaten to kill during the transportation to Sittway on April 27 that went on video viral on social media. 

They were even kept on the board for one and half days and kicked, beaten, hit, smashed, banged on the floor and wall while blindfolding. The victims pleased the soldiers for mercy while bleeding and immerse pain. They replied the soldiers they were ordinary civilians. But the government soldiers yelled and increased torturing without a blink. 

Their family said they were given no food nor water for two days in the navy and tortured days and nights.

Military’s spokesperson Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun told the media the soldiers who manhandled the accused would be investigated and punished according to military laws.

But families and human rights experts did not believe the military would punish the soldiers, and they said the spokesperson was bluffing.

In Myanmar culture, military personals are granted blanket impunity for committing crimes on civilians, especially on the ethnic people who are prejudiced as rebels. 

“These terrorist charges on my friends are unfair and unjust. How can the government do these kinds of cruel and unusual charges against these innocent civilians after severely tortured. They are not arrested in the battle field. They are non-combatants. I am very angry now,” said a villager and a friend of the detainees at the court, who does not want to publish his name for security reason. 

The accused are droved from Ponnaygun police station to Sittway for formal charges this morning.

Families are following by taxi and meet their loved ones at court in Sittway.
Mother of Nyi Nyi Aung and Maung Chay crying at the court 

“I am very sad. My son is charged with terrorist laws. He is very sick. How can I live with this hardship,” Daw Ni Ni Aye, mother of Nyi Nyi Aung, cries and tells our news agency. 

She meets her son at the court along with her friends and mothers of other detainees. All are very exhausted, tired, and sad after they hear the harsh charges on their sons. 

Several military shelled landed and killed 8 civilians and injured 13 villagers in Kyauk Seik on on April 14. Six days later and on April 19, the soldiers arrested 39 villagers and tortured while interrogating at the military base Light Infantry Battalion 550 in Ponnaygun. They were released on April 23, but the five villagers were kept at the base and interrogated for several more days.

On April 25, they were handed over to police in the town, but the soldiers from the base blindfolded and took them to the navy ship and tortured on April 27. 

They were detained and interrogated and torturing in Sittway until May 5. The police in Sittway transferred the accused to Ponnaygun again on May 7. 

They are formerly charged with the terrorist laws in Sittway court today. 

Local lawyer U Kyaw Nyunt Maung represents the accused at the court confirms, “They are charged with counter terrorism laws 50 (Nya) and 52 (Ka).” 

The next court appearance schedule is set on June 6. 

UN Security Council discussion session led by British and EU nations condemned the escalation of violence in Rakhine and Chin states and increase of civilian casualties and massive displacements last week despite China blocked a joint statement. 

Outgoing UN rights expert Yanghee Lee recently called for a fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity into the military on killing and injuring outnumbers of civilians.

But Myanmar government lashed out the UN body and international community calling to halt the violence and a nationwide ceasefire to mitigate civilian suffering.  

Families, relatives, and friends of the accused are waiting for court appearance in Sittway on May 22. 

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