Friday, January 23, 2015

CSW CONDEMNS RAPE AND MURDER OF IN BURMA

a Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) press release

Christian Solidarity Worldwide today condemned the rape and murder of two Kachin women in their church compound on the night of 19 January, and called on the government of Burma to immediately stop its military offensives in ethnic areas and bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.


The two women, Maran Lu Ra, aged 20 and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin, 21, were teachers from Myitkyina, working with the Kachin Baptist Convention. They were attacked during the night of 19 January and early hours of 20 January by Burma Army soldiers in Kawng Hka Shabuk village, Muse District, northern Shan State, gang-raped and murdered.

According to CSW's sources, 'Burma Army troops came into the church ground where the girls were sleeping and raped and then beat them to death. Villagers nearby heard the girls screaming and when they went to check they saw Burma Army boot prints and the raped and bloodied bodies of the dead girls. The church members went to the Burma police in this area, but the police have taken no action.'

The Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT) has documented over 70 cases of gang-rape, rape and attempted sexual violence by Burma Army troops in Kachin and northern Shan states since the Burma Army broke a 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in June 2011. The Women's League of Burma published a new report last year, titled If they had hope, they would speak, which documents 118 cases of sexual violence by the Burma Army since 2010.

CSW calls on the British Government to implement provisions in its Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and dispatch a team of experts to Burma to investigate this case. The government of Burma signed the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict last year, but has failed to implement its provisions.

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of CSW, said: 'This tragic rape and murder of two young Christian Kachin teachers is yet another example of the continuing severe violations of human rights in Burma, the prevailing culture of impunity for the military, and the persistent and widespread use of rape and sexual violence by the Burma Army. We urge the international community to act to uphold the provisions of the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and the UK's own Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, and we call on the government of Burma to end the war against the Kachin people and engage in a genuine political dialogue and peace process.'

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

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