Incident Report: Violent abuse in Papun District, October 2012

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Incident Report: Violent abuse in Papun District, October 2012

Published date:
Monday, April 1, 2013

The following incident report was written by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses in Papun District, and is based on an interview with a villager named Saw P--- concerning an incident of violent abuse. The incident occurred on October 15th 2012 in Htee Th'Daw Hta village tract, Bu Tho Township, Papun District, when Saw P--- allowed his cow to graze on a vehicle road that had been closed by Saw Pah Mee, a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Commander. Upon encountering Saw P--- in the area under his control, Commander Saw Pah Mee blindfolded, punched, and left Saw P--- tied up overnight, as well as shooting one of his cows. The incident report also mentions the violent abuse of a Muslim villager, Saw L---, by Border Guard Commander #1014 Commander Maw Nee Hseh; details of this incident were described by the same community member in a previously published report: "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG incident reports are written or gathered by community member in Papun District who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. KHRG trains community member in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, community members are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. As companion to this, a redesigned website will be released in 2013. In the meantime, KHRG's most recently-published field information from Papun District can be found in the report, "Incident Report: Religious discrimination and restrictions in Papun District, September 2012," KHRG, March 2013.

[3] While the KHRG community member uses the word 'torture' to describe the abuse perpetrated by the KNLA commander in this report, there is no indication that the commander was attempting to extract information from the villager he was abusing and, therefore, the incidents described in this report are not likely to meet the internationally-accepted definition of torture. However, that they chose to use the Karen phrase, 'ta ma er mah ner ta' meaning torture, as opposed to ma p'yweh, meaning 'abuse', or ma na ma hphaw, meaning 'torment' to describe the event suggests the severity of the incident justifies this classification. This incident is also described in: "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013.

[4] The community member is referring to the violent abuse of a Muslim villager, Saw L---, by Border Guard #1014 Commander Maw Nee Hseh; details of this incident were described by the same community member in a previously published report. See "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013.

[5] As of March 19th 2013, all conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the official market rate of 878 kyat to the US $1. This reflects new measures taken by Burma's central bank on April 2nd 2012 to initiate a managed float of the kyat, thus replacing the previous fixed rate of 6.5 kyat to US $1.