Compensation Is Not Justice For Murder Of Woman in Kachin State, KWAT Says

By Network Media Group
Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Kachin Women Association – Thailand (KWAT) criticized the military council’s decision to financially compensate a family whose relative was allegedly murdered and raped by soldiers, calling for more justice for the victim and for all the women the army has violated and killed.

“When we talk about truth and justice, this does not imply giving compensation. After killing someone, they pay compensation. This is utter nonsense!” said Moon Nelly, KWAT spokesperson.

KWAT argued it is more important to take action against the perpetrators than to provide money for what is an endemic problem within the military.

Army officials from LID-88 and LIB-616 gave 2.1M kyat ($1,280) to Makhaw Roi’s family in Nuam Lang village.

The 51-year-old’s lower-half naked body was found in her paddy field in Momauk Township with a cloth tied around her mouth on July 15. She went missing the day before on her way to her field.

“In the past, Burma Army has taken action against perpetrators, but they didn’t allow civilians to attend the hearing, so military judges decided whatever they want…Actually, soldiers have raped and killed many women in Kachin State,” Moon Nelly said. “For truth and justice for the victim, the military dictatorship must be abolished in Burma.”

The military’s “raping and killing” of women is used as psychological warfare in areas of the country populated by ethnic nationalities. She said the soldiers are never punished because they have impunity.

A man from Nuam Lang told NMG that when a local police officer and the village headman went to collect Makhaw Roi’s phone from the army battalion they asked to question the suspects, but the military would not allow it. The army did provide the soldiers’ names and service numbers.

Makhaw Roi’s family, members of her community and activists are demanding for the trial to proceed in civilian court.