Thursday, March 22, 2012

81 - Nasaka personnel gang rape girl in Maungdaw

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A young girl was gang raped by Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) personnel after being taken to the Nasaka camp. They entered her home on the pretext of checking the guest list on June 30, said a relative on condition of anonymity.

The victim was identified as Minara Begum (20) (not her real name) daughter of Abdul Gaffer hailing from Maung Nama Mizitala village of Maungdaw Township.

Five Nasaka men led by Captain Aung Than from Aung Min Gala Nasaka camp under Nasaka area No.6 of Maungdaw Township went to Maung Nama Mizitala village at night on the pretext of checking the guest list and family list in the village. After arrival they entered Miss Minara’s house at midnight and took the girl forcibly from her mother because no male members were in the house. The Nasaka told the family members that she was being taken to the Nasaka camp for interrogation and would be released the next day, he added.

The following day morning, the victim’s mother accompanied by her younger daughter went to the Nasaka camp to see her daughter. They were severely beaten up by the Nasaka and pushed out of the camp, said another relative of the victim.

After being taken to the Nasaka camp, she was gang raped by the Nasaka personnel for one night and one day. She was released on July 1, after sunset. She was in a critical condition and had to take treatment from the local doctor.

The victim, their families and witnesses of rape are reportedly threatened and physically abused if they complain. Victims and witnesses also face charges for attempting to denounce these violations or defaming the military or Nasaka or police. As a result, the victims or her relatives do not dare to complain against rapists. The Burmese Army officers register the complaint, but do nothing, according to an aide of Nasaka who did not want to be named

Women dominated households are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, including rape. Women and teenage girls are also at risk when left alone at home while their husbands forcibly work as sentries or other places or are absent. Nasaka patrols routinely enter homes at night searching for couples, who are married without permission, or for unregistered guests. Girls have also been raped while collecting firewood in the field or in the forest, according to local villagers.

A village elder said, “We have been unable to protect wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters.”

This is contributing to double victimization, first for having been sexually violated and second for having to bear the fear, shame and stigma that surround sexual violence, and to a culture of silence that essentially impedes the victim’s access to justice and remedy, and allows impunity to persist, the Irish Center Human Rights 2010 says.

The rape cases occur more frequently when men are absent from their houses. For instance, while they are carrying out forced labor, or having fled their villages on hearing that the military were on their way to collect men for labor, or simply because they were working in the fields. In the absence of husbands, sons or fathers, women and girls have been raped and been victims of attempted rapes, during day or night in their own houses while bathing, cooking dinner or simply during routine checks when Nasaka are patrolling to verify family lists and ensure that there are no unregistered individuals present in their houses.

Sexual violence is all pervasive in Burma and rapes are committed throughout the country, including against Rohingya women and girls in north Arakan State. The Burmese military regime is allowing its troops systematically and on a widespread scale to commit rape with impunity in order to terrorize and subjugate the ethnic peoples across the country.

Sexual violence is being used by the ruling junta as an integral part of its strategy to subjugate the ethnic peoples and establish control over their lands and resources. It serves in terrorizing local communities into submission: flaunting the power of the dominant troops over the enemy’s women; humiliating and demoralizing ethnic resistance forces and also serving as a ‘reward” to its troops for fighting.

It is confirmed that rapes committed against women in north Arakan State constitute a systematic attack directed against the Rohingya population, the report added.
Source: Kaladanpress News

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