Twelve civil society organizations have called on the Paletwa Township legal system to take action against the perpetrator in the rape of a 23-year-old visually impaired woman who is also an internally displaced person.
The woman was sexually assaulted in the Sami IDP camp on November 17, allegedly by a 40-year-old man who has since been placed under arrest and transferred to Paletwa town.
“We want justice for her. This woman is a disabled person,” Pwee Pwee of the Sami Chin Women’s Organization told Khonumthung News.
Women’s organizations were among the 12 organizations to sign an open letter to the Paletwa authorities, including prosecutors and a judge.
“She wants the respective authorities to put the rapist in prison,” Pwee Pwee said. “We respect the desire of the victim. That’s why we are calling for it,” she added.
The rape survivor lives with her uncle’s family in the Sami IDP camp; the uncle is also pressing charges but said he would consider dropping the case if the perpetrator apologized and paid 500,000 kyats in compensation.
The Sami Women’s Organization disagrees and wants the case to move forward and for charges to be brought against the alleged rapist.
“Chin customary law should not be used in this case. If it is used in cases like these, Chin women and girls will not get justice,” the 12 civil society organizations wrote in the open letter.
The organizations that participated were the Eden Disabled Childcare Center-Hakha, Hakha Tal Women’s Organization, Mathu Women’s Organization, Rizoa Women’s Organization, Saptha Women’s Organization, Hakha Chin Women’s Organization, Derl Deim Perl Organization, Indigenous Women’s Organization, Chin Family Organization, Shine Di, BOOM Women, and Rathedaung Youth Network.