Family upset over light sentence given to man who raped 3-year-old grand-daughter

November 27, 2017

WCRP: The family of a 3-year-old victim of rape is upset with the Mawlamyine District Court’s decision to jointly charge and convict the perpetrator of both rape and attempted rape. The inclusion of Section #511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offensives) under Burma’s Penal Code significantly reduced the sentence from 20 to ten years in prison, leading some activists to accuse the District Court of lack of rule of law.

Daw Khin Than Htwe, Chairman of the Mon State Women and Children Upgrade Committee (MWCUC) said, “due to Section #511(attempting to commit offenses punishable), the perpetrator received a chance to be released on bail. We could say that there is no rule of law since the court set the order without removing code Section #511. According to the child’s testimony, she said that the perpetrator took her to bed and injected her vagina and backside with a finger. We should not think that is only attempting to commit [rape].

On August 8th 2015, the child had come back home from outside at about 2 pm and was crying. She told her grandmother that her vagina was in pain. Once her grandmother looked she saw that it was red and bleeding, according to a neighbor of the victim.

The perpetrator, a 73-year-old man in the neighborhood, told the young girl that he would buy her a snack if she didn’t cry. The girl’s grandparents reported the case to the Mu Pon police station in Mawlamyine. 

The victim’s grandfather is not satisfied with the Mawlamyine District Court’s order and had petitioned the court to remove Section #511 from the charges several times.

According to a source from the Mawlamyine District Court, the standard punishment for those charged with both Section #376 (Punishment for Rape) and Section #511 is ten years in prison. This is in contrast to the 20 years imprisonment for the rape of a child. 

I don’t understand about the sentence of ten years [imprisonment]. I only understand that the punishment is 20 years. I thought that the perpetrator was being sentenced to prison for 30 years – 20 years’ imprisonment [Section #376] plus another ten years [Section #511]. But once I asked the lawyer, the perpetrator was sentenced to prison for only ten years. It is not fair to us,” said the victim’s grandfather.

In addition, while released on bail the perpetrator sued the victim’s family, saying he was wrongly accused by the victim’s family.

The perpetrator said that the victim’s family accused him of raping their granddaughter because the family owed him money and couldn’t pay him back. The victim’s family had to deal with that problem for about one year. They have had to make about 78 court appearances. However, in this kind of case, if an organization [like us] does not help, the victim’s family would not be winning their case,” said Daw Khin Than Htwe, whose organization supported the family during their ordeal.

The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) previously reported on this case in their March 2017 report, “Cracks in the Silence: Sexual violence against children and challenges to accessing justice in Mon State and Mon areas of southeast Burma.”

 

 

 

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