A 44-year-old woman in Rakhine State’s Ann Township was tortured by soldiers from the Burma Army’s Western Command on January 4, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) reported on Friday.
CHRO said that soldiers poured boiling water on Ma Hla during an interrogation lasting through the night, cutting her legs with a knife and hitting her kneecaps with a hammer. They reportedly suspected her 51-year-old husband Tin Tun of having ties to the Arakan Army and searched for him at their family home in Hkamaung-wa village. When they didn’t find him, the interrogation of Ma Hla and her 21-year-old son Maung Kyaw took place.
The CHRO report said that the perpetrating soldiers are believed to belong to Infantry Battalion 371 or 372 stationed in Ann town and that the torture happened in the classroom of a local school.
“It was a really brutal investigation,” CHRO field director Salai Tera told Khonumthung News. “This should not have happened. I want to demand that they not to do something like this again in the future.”
Maung Kyaw, Tin Tun and Ma Hla’s son, was brought to a Burma Army camp in Ann town, where he was also interrogated. After one week, he was transferred to the police station. Police officers have filed a case against him.
Ma Hla was admitted to the hospital following the torture and has since been discharged and recovering in the home of relatives.
“My injuries are not completely healed. So I am staying in the town and receiving medical treatment,” Ma Hla said.
Tin Tun and Ma Hla run a grocery shop out of their house in Hkamaung-wa village. Soldiers destroyed more than 3 million kyat (US$2,000) worth of property in their house during the interrogation, CHRO said.