The bodies of at least three villagers found in Nam Lim Pa, Kachin State, on January 30th show signs of torture, with the remains of another four also found in a neighbouring village, locals and a humanitarian organisation have reported.
Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian organisation that delivers aid to conflict zones in Burma, accused the Burma Army of being behind the torture and killings after occupying the villages in a November 2013 offensive.
“Free Burma Rangers relief teams found three bodies with evidence of torture. All three were killed when the Burma Army attacked Nam Lim Pa and a neighbouring village in late November 2013,” FBR said in a report released February 4th, “A total of seven people were killed in these attacks.”
FBR said the bodies showed signs of deep cuts and rope burns. One of the bodies also was badly burned. They all had bullet wounds. FBR backed up its allegations with gruesome photos of human remains and the destroyed village, gutted with fire.
According to the FBR report, one of the victims, named as La Ring, was a deaf-mute, while another victim, Nhkun Aung, had mental disabilities. Both were left in the village while relatives fled the Burma Army assault. Relatives said they believed that because of their conditions, the soldiers would not give the young men any trouble.
Nhkun Aung’s sister, Daw Kwan, said that her brother wanted to stay at home because he could take his medicine.
“My brother said, ‘I [am] not doing anything against the government, so I don’t have any reason to run. And I don’t want to run to the jungle, where I can’t take my medicine regularly.’”
Daw Kwan added, “On 31 December 2013, we heard that the Burma Army was no longer in the village so we went back. We immediately started looking for our brother, but we couldn’t find him in the house. The whole house had been ransacked,” she said, “I saw a suspicious pile of dirt in the garden; we dug it up and saw my brother – he had been killed. When I saw his body, I fainted.”
The Kachin conflict, which has raged since 2011, has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than 100,000 people. In a report released last year, the human rights organisation, Fortify Rights, documented dozens of cases of human rights abuses including torture and murder of civilians by the Burma Army.