Incident Report: Arbitrary detention and violent abuse in Dooplaya District, December 2011
This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2012 by a villager describing events occurring in Dooplaya District in December 2011. The villager reported an incident that took place in H--- village on December 12th, during which Burmese soldiers from Battalion #--- arrested ten villagers on suspicion of their being KNLA soldiers because they had tattoos, and took them to T---. The village head petitioned the soldiers and secured the release of five of the villagers, and one other villager succeeded in escaping, however according to a villager trained by KHRG, the remaining four villagers were violently abused during a period of arbitrary detention that lasted two-and-a-half months, until their release on February 28th 2012.
Incident Report | Kya In Township, Dooplaya District (December 2012)
The following situation update was written by a villager in Dooplaya District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.
H--- village incident
On December 12th 2011, just around 9:00 or 10:00 am, soldiers from IB [Infantry Battalion] #--- and #--- came to H--- village and gathered all of the men, women and children that they saw and took them to N--- Church. They forced the men to take off their shirts individually. The people who had tattoos were separated and put inside the church. They arrested the ten people [who had tattoos] and the rest were released. The ten people were taken to T--- [village] on that same day. After they arrived at T--- [village], they [the Tatmadaw] released five people because the [H---] village head and teacher had followed them there [and negotiated on their behalf]. One villager also escaped, so only four people remained.
From then on, the four people were treated more strictly because [one of] their friends had escaped. The Burmese soldiers accused them of being Kaw Thoo Lei soldiers. The village head went to see the four [remaining] people but was not allowed to see them. The village head asked about them every day, so the four people were then sent to L--- [village]. The Burmese soldiers told the [H---] village head that they did not need to worry, and said: "If they are villagers then ask your villagers to come and act as witnesses for the four people." After all of the [H---] villagers went to act as witnesses, they [the four detainees] were sent to G--- [jail]. After they were sent there, the [H---] village head found out and went to meet them.
While the four people were with Burmese Army Battalion #---, they were abused, punched and beaten until the skin on their shins was torn. They also did not get enough food. They are:
1. D---, 29-years-old. He is married and has three children. All of his children are girls. He is an H--- villager.
2. P---, 27-years-old. He has a wife but has no children. He is also a villager.
3. M---, 24-years-old. He is single and also a villager.
4. A---, 28-years-old. He is single and also a villager.
The four people whom I have mentioned were tortured very badly and also accused of being Kaw Thoo Lei soldiers. However, none of these four people has ever joined the army.
 KHRG incident reports are written or gathered by villagers in Pa'an District who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. KHRG trains villagers in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, villagers are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.
 Both the researcher conducting the interview and the interviewee used the term 'Kaw Thoo Lei', which refers to Karen State as demarcated by the Karen National Union (KNU). The exact meaning and origin of the term 'Kaw Thoo Lei' is disputed; see: Jonathan Falla. True Love and Bartolomew: Rebels on the Burmese border, Cambridge University Press: 1991.
|All images and reports © Karen Human Rights Group||Top|