Ponna Kyunt: A newly-wed woman was gang-raped by three personnel of the Burmese army and the paramilitary group known as Swan-Arr-Shin in Ponnagyun in western Burma’s Arakan State on the 8th of March, after she was taken by them on the pretense of guest inspections.
The victim is identified as 20 year old Ma——, a resident of Sanpateechaung Village in Ponnagyun Township. She was said to be raped while she was visiting her native village just after she married a colleague, they have been working together in a private fishery in Thandwe Township.
A lawyer told Narinjara that the personnel gang-raped the young woman after taking her away from her husband on the pretense of guest inspections while she was going with her husband to report their overnight stay in a ward in downtown Ponnagyun to the ward headman.
“The young couple had gone to report to the ward headman about their overnight stay in the house of U Aung Than Hlaing in Sanpya Sayronsu Ward in Ponnagyun around 8 pm on the day of the incident. But the headman was not at home and when they came back three personnel of the army and the Swan-Arr-Shin intercepted and inspected them for their guest information papers. As they had no papers, the personnel asked for 50,000 kyat from them. When they were unable to pay, the personnel asked the wife to go with them to the headman’s house, making the husband find more money for them”, said the lawyer.
“When the husband left the spot to find more money, the personnel forcibly took the wife under the hills of U-Rite-Taw Pagoda that is situated on the other side of the river in Ponnagyun and gang-raped her there without bringing her to the headman’s house.”
The lawyer said those three personnel are private Hla Thein Tun from the Light Infantry Battalion (550) based in Ponnagyun, and Maung Sein Shwe and Maung Phyu of the Swan-Arr-Shin group and they have since been arrested by the local police.
Two of the personnel private Hla Thein Tun and Maung Sein Shwe were said to be in their official uniforms when they raped the woman.
The local police station in Ponnagyun also confirmed that they have already arrested the alleged offenders and were preparing to take legal action against them.