The Karen Women Organization issued a media statement late last night condemning the attempted rape of a 22-year-old mother who was “viciously attacked yesterday by two soldiers of the Burma Army on Sunday this week.”
The KWO told Karen News that they have taken the young woman into their care.
The KWO statement alleged the two soldiers attempted to rape the woman “while she was working to grow vegetables for her family. The victim has been badly beaten and drugged. She was only able to escape when nearby gunfire caused the soldiers to leave.”
Dah Eh Kler, the Karen Women Organization general secretary told Karen News.
“This case of violence against a young woman in our community is particularly disturbing as it confirms previous reports of continued human rights violations against women and others despite the Burmese government’s initial cease fire agreement with the Karen National Union and some recent changes inside Burma.”
The KWO said despite recent reforms in Burma – “the day-to-day reality for people living in villages throughout Karen State remains unchanged.”
The KWO said the attempted rape and brutal attack is not the first of its kind against Karen women.
“Unfortunately, it is only the most recent case. We hope for peace every day, but this despicable attack reminds us how far we have to go to have the rights, peace and safety our community deserves.”
The KWO said that human rights abuses must stop if there is to be a genuine peace and democracy in Burma.
“Karen women, along with Karen men and children, have been abused by the Burmese military for decades. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has affirmed many times that violence against women is a violation of human rights and has emphasized the particularly heinous role such violence plays in conflict situations or when condoned or encouraged by the State.”
The KWO appealed to the international community to do more about the continuing abuses in ethnic areas.
“We ask the international communities, who have been encouraging the Burmese dictatorship to move toward democracy, to take our reports of abuse seriously. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, nor can Karen women have faith in a process for change or President Thein Sein’s government when they are faced with this type of abuse.”