TNLA: Female Medics Killed by Tatmadaw Were Tortured, Raped
The Ta’ang armed group is accusing the Burma Army of violating the Geneva Convention by abusing and killing prisoners of war.
By NETWORK MEDIA GROUP (NMG)
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Six female Ta’ang medics killed by government soldiers last month appear to have been raped before they were executed, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) said in a statement on Monday.
Members of the Burma Army—also known as the Tatmadaw—engaged in a gunfire fight with members of the TNLA in northern Shan State’s Manton Township on July 11. The TNLA maintains that six female medics caught in the battle were taken as prisoners; the Tatmadaw said they were killed on-site in the fighting.
“What we heard is that our female medics were taken alive during a clash. After that, [the Burma Army] killed the medics. They were not killed in a battle. They were arrested while they were still alive and they were killed afterward,” Maj Mai Aik Kyaw, head of the TNLA’s information department, told NMG.
“They were brutally tortured by Tatmadaw soldiers. We found some clues that our female medics were raped before they were killed,” he explained, adding that a TNLA soldier who escaped arrest—along with mining workers and drivers who were present during the clash—witnessed the Tatmadaw soldiers taking the medics away.
Maj Mai Aik Kyaw of the TNLA said that two of their soldiers—men—and six female medics were ambushed by Tatmadaw soldiers while riding in a vehicle owned by a mining company. According to him, one TNLA soldier was killed, the six female medics were arrested at the scene of the clash, and one TNLA soldier escaped. The medics were later found dead, and their bodies were cremated by local villagers.
The TNLA is now accusing the Burma Army of violating the Geneva Convention, pointing out that in the case of the six medics, they tortured, raped, and killed prisoners of war.
The TNLA’s inquiry into the incident revealed that other detainees taken from the scene of the clash—including drivers injured in the gunfire fight—heard cries for help from the medics around 200 meters away, where they were held.
Mining employees Sai Kyaw Aye and Sai Win Pe endured gunshot injuries in the fight and were arrested by the military along with two other workers. The four men were released on July 12 after officials from their mining company called for their release.
The Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team confirmed on July 19 that there had been clashes between the Burma Army and the TNLA on July 11. They said that one Tatmadaw soldier and eight TNLA soldiers were killed. The Ta’ang soldiers, they said, had been buried.