Burma Army Behind “Systemic Torture” of Civilians, says Report

The Burma Army is engaging in “systemic torture” of civilians, a report by the Ta’ang Women’s Organisation (TWO) has found.

The TWO is a community based human rights advocacy organization representing the ethnic Ta’ang, a minority in Eastern Burma.

The report, Trained to Torture, documents more than 100 case studies across 33 villages in the Ta’ang areas. Civilians reported being tied up, beaten, suffocation with plastic bags, the pouring of petrol down their throats and, in some cases, stabbings, burning and the slashing of skin from the limbs of victims.

At least 18 different battalions of Burma Army soldiers are implicated in the torture cases by Ta’ang Women’s Organisation.

“After the NLD won the 2015 election, we hoped they would end the offensives in the ethnic areas, but the attacks and war crimes have continued,” Lway Poe Ngeal, a member of the TWO and an author of the report said, referring to the National League of Democracy party, of which Aung San Suu Kyi is the nominal leader.

“It is clear the Tatmadaw [Burma Army] still has absolute power and is above the law,” Lway Poe added.

TWO said it was now calling on the NLD government to halt all military offensives across the country and begin a “fully inclusive peace process.” The TWO also called on a commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes by military forces in conflict areas.

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