Teenage girl in Mawlamyine Township finally sees her rapist brought to justice

June 18, 2019

HURFOM: According to U Thet Tun of the Mitta Zone See Organization, on May 30th 2019, a man detained by authorities for the repeated rape of his niece was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2017, following the death of her father and her mother’s second marriage, the victim and her younger brother were sent to live with their grandmother in Zayar Thiri Region, Mawlamyine Township, Mon State. It was in this residence that the girl was repeatedly raped by her uncle.

We will file an appeal as the rapist was sentenced to only 10 years imprisonment. A child rapist must be given a 20-year jail sentence. If we file an appeal, the sentence can be increased to 15 years. The victim just passed Grade 10 and will sit for her matriculation exam this year,” said U Thet Tun.

In February 2018, after completing her grade 10 examination, the girl learned that she was six-months pregnant. In an attempt to conceal the uncle’s crimes and deflect his responsibility for the pregnancy, the girl’s grandmother pressured the girl to pursue a romantic relationship with a 19-year-old boy from the Zayar Thiri Region, and quickly forced her granddaughter to marry the young man.

Having learned of the girl’s predicament, Daw Thi Thi Nwe, the Chair of Mitta Zone See Organization, visited the young woman in hospital after she had given birth, and soon took an active interest in the girl’s well-being. At the victim’s request, Daw Thi Thi Nwe filed rape charges against the girl’s uncle and her husband. Both men have been detained by authorities in Mawlamyine since July 2018.

It remains unclear why the girl’s husband has been charged with rape.

The legal proceedings lasted about a year. Her uncle is now in jail, but the court hasn’t made a decision about her husband. We’ll request that the court release him,” continued U Thet Tun.

On June 3rd, I sent my son to stay at a Mon State Social Welfare Office so I can sit for my matriculation exam. I want to educate myself, and I want my child to be a doctor someday,” said the girl.

In 2018, the Mitta Zone See Organization provided support to 16 victims of rape. According to the organization, 18 cases of child sexual abuse have been reported to them since January 2019.

In light of this worrying trend, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) again calls on parliament to enact the Protection and Prevention of Violence against Women Bill so women and girls are provided the enhanced legal protections needed to disrupt the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in Mon State and across Burma.

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