Thursday, May 6, 2021

Myanmar protesters describe torture victim in custody


“I thought I would die,” the teenager, who was not to be named for security reasons, said of his three-day stint at the military prison camp while showing a picture of his wounds.

But accounts of those who have been released, as well as from the convicts of the military and family members, detail the brutal acts of violence and torture.

The teenager was traveling from Bop to Yangon back to Moped when he said he was stopped at a military outpost on 9 April. It was a long drive, and was already getting late. Saw one of that day Deadly crackdown on protesters, According to the AAPP, more than 80 people were killed by security forces in the town.

After searching his bag and phone, soldiers found pictures of him with a shield in the protest.

The 19-year-old said he was taken to a military compound where his hands were tied and repeatedly beaten by guards who used cables, butts and gun bottles.

“The commander tied my hands from behind and used small scissors to cut off my ears, my nose, my neck and the tip of my throat. (He) stabbed my head with a glass bottle, beat me, gun. He pointed. But the bullets did not come out. He used the gun to threaten me as soon as he reached his station. Then he let his fellow soldiers assault me ​​that night.

The soldiers accused him of funding the Civil Disobedience Movement, in which doctors, activists and civil servants led by General Min Aung Hling went on strike to cripple the economy and bring down the jaunt.

“They beat me with a cable wire, they used a big cable wire and they closed it with two cable wires to make it bigger. They forced us to be on our knees, with our backs, And punched and kicked us. When we the teenager said that they hit the cable wire after falling on the ground. It hurt me a lot. I also told them to kill me instead of torturing me. It was so painful. Was.

Three weeks after his ordinance, he remained in hiding. His wounds are healing, he said, but he still has difficulty walking and cannot hold his buttons properly.

During the fight, one thing was passed to him exasperatingly. “I thought I was going to die, but I have to stay strong, I can’t eat what they gave me but I forced myself to eat to be alive, we have to be released and when we are released we will Can participate (in) protest) again, ”the 19-year-old said.

His scars, both physical and mental, are a constant reminder of military insurgent brutality and lack of respect for the civilians he claims to rule.

The 19-year-old said that he was detained after soldiers found pictures on his phone during protests.
Over 750 people, including Large number of children And young people Killed by security forces Since the military junta captured power, the AAPP has produced documents. A growing number of casualties have been injured by protesters who were detained by the military and ignored by medical attention. Others, including deposed members of the democratically elected National League for Democracy Died in custody, Marks of torture on their bodies.

“Those arrested by the security forces are more likely to be tortured or detained in custody,” said human rights expert Jha Win of the human rights group Forties Rights. “Our team has documented cases of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and beatings since February 1. The military strategy of arrests and ill behavior is creating an atmosphere of panic and anxiety in the public. Nevertheless, protesters still take to the streets To end military rule. “

Torture was widespread and well documented during the previous military regime, which began transferring power to a quasi-civilian government in 2011. Despite the civil government Aung San Suu Kyi And since 2014, the National League for Democracy has been in power, the United Nations Convention Against Atrocities was never signed.

The AAPP said that torture confessions or imprisonment in Myanmar and during the interrogation and imprisonment for evacuation of abusive detainees are still common.

CNN has reached out to Myanmar’s military for comment. In state media, the junta has said that it is Restrain In dealing with what it describes as demonstrations by “riotous protesters” who accuse it of attacking police and damaging national security and stability.

Barely recognizable

Despite claims of restraint, the military junta has shown no shame in its acts of brutality – if anything, it attempts to promote those acts as a warning that it dares to speak out.

Every night at 8 pm local time, neatly in-the-news anchors announced a list of people wanted for arrest on Janta-controlled TV. The broadcast featured actors, musicians, journalists and doctors who have gone on strike to protest the coup – their photographs and social media profiles have been raised across the country.

On 18 April, the military aired images of six people accused of being in possession of house bombs after a series of deadly explosions in the Yangon suburb of Yankin on 17 April. Severe signs of abuse abusing the faces of four people and two people.

One of the women, 31-year-old dance teacher Khin Nyen Thu, was barely recognizable, her mother said. His face was swollen and bloody. Her mother, who was not to be named for security reasons, said Khin Nayan Thu was picked up in a night raid and is concerned about her welfare at an interrogation center, where she is now believed.

An untold photo of dance teacher Khin Nayan Thu.

Her mother managed to get a glimpse of her daughter when she was first taken to the police station. “She was clearly in pain, she was walking unsteadily and when I called her she turned around to look at me. It was at this point that I could tell that her face was very swollen,” she said. said.

“I was told by someone who was told that he had a bruise on his face, I understand that his face and lips were severed, and his eyes were torn, and a tooth had been lost.”

She described Khin Nyen Thu, who was her only child, as a creative, artistic person who loves to dance, paint, kickbox and share what she knows with others.

Although detained on April 17, Khin Nyen Thu was not charged or taken to jail, his mother said. Instead, she admits that she has been transferred to another interrogation camp.

“I couldn’t sleep all night and I felt a suffocation of fear. Worst thinking I couldn’t follow her,” the mother said as her daughter was carried away that night. Desperate to hear from her daughter, she said, “I want to see her. I want her to get medical as soon as possible.”

‘They’ll kill whomever they want’

Even among the lower ranks of the army, soldiers there abhor the violence they are ordered to commit against their fellow countrymen and women.

From the security of neighboring India, the 23-year-old former army cadet said he broke away from the army, fueled by his experiences on the night raids. CNN has agreed not to name him for his safety.

He described a culture of intimidation and brainwashing within the military, known as Tatmadaw, where one of the new recruits from day one is told that there can be peace in the country only when the army is in charge. .

The 23-year-old, who graduated from military training in March, was stationed in Mingladen Township, Yangon, where he was ordered to join night raids and arrest suspected protesters or detainees of the coup.

He said that every night he would deploy two rounds of ammunition, assault rifles, detailed maps of the neighborhood and the names of the protest leaders of his informants.

“They order us to shoot when the person we want to arrest is running away from home,” the former cadet said. “At one point we went to arrest two leaders, one was arrested and one was trying to escape and we shot him on the spot.” He said that the person who was shot was successful in escaping, so they arrested his daughter who was also in the house.

He said, “The order depends on the commanders of the group, if they have shot at us then we have to shoot immediately.”

A former cadet of the Myanmar army ordered troops from across the border to conduct demonstrations in India, raiding and beating protesters.

The former cadet claims that he intentionally broke his rifle that night so that it would not fire, but he could not avoid participating in the beating. His account gives a rigorous insight into military operations, as reported by countless detained protesters and family members.

“They were crying when we raided their homes and thrashed them. The neighbors also knew but dared to come out at night. If someone sees us through our windows, we told them to come out And beat them too. The army said that every house has a mistake and they will defeat them.

A culture of fear within the ranks means that he cannot complain. “I can’t say anything even if I don’t like what they’re doing,” he said.

Anyone found outside after the curfew at 8 pm local time was questioned and beaten. If they walk, military orders are given to shoot them, the former cadet said. No one is spared in this treatment, including women and children.

“The youngest I saw was about 10 or 11 years old, a boy,” he said.

“If someone talks to us, we’ll hit them in the back of a gun – and some blood will bleed. I feel sad every night when I have to see that they’re beating up people in the house, including children, and I can’t say anything to them. I feel sad every night. “

The former cadet also described what many family members and activists have reported – that injured protesters are being denied medical care while in custody. Some people are saved from closing their wounds, leaving to die without any help to alleviate their suffering.

“When people were shot and arrested they did not receive any treatment. Some people were still alive after being shot, but when they did not receive any treatment, they died in the morning because they had lost too much blood . Then the army gave. The body went back to the family, “he said.

The former cadet stated that in military barracks, soldiers are not allowed to leave the base and only allowed to watch military TV channels.

“They brainwash us by saying that it is only because of the existence of Tatmadaw, the country is peaceful. They told us that racially armed groups are smuggling drugs and traffickers and that is why Tatmadov had to fight them The common citizens will no longer be able to live in peace.

Earlier atrocities by the military have shown to be nationwide and decades old. Human rights abuses By the military, including beaten, torture, extrajudicial killings, forced labor and sexual violence, have long been documented by the United Nations and rights groups such as those in the Kachin and ethnic areas Karen State.

In 2017, a military operation of assassination and arson against the Rohingya community in Rakhine State forced more than 740,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The massacre case against military and coup leader Min Aung Halling is going on in the International Court of Justice.

Now, the army has brought its ruthless war strategy from jungles and borders to towns and cities. Soldiers like young former cadets are rolling their guns at people who may be their neighbors.

The former cadet said that it was cruelty to the families of the protesters that ultimately broke him, so he decided to flee and took a long journey from Yangon to the Indian border.

“I have to go out every night and I don’t want to do that anymore, I can’t see that people keep getting beaten every night,” he said.

“They will kill whoever they want to kill, that’s what I know.”

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