Hpa-an Incident Report: Violent abuse and killing committed by BGF soldiers in Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, April 2015

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Hpa-an Incident Report: Violent abuse and killing committed by BGF soldiers in Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, April 2015

Published date:
Friday, August 28, 2015

This Incident Report describes the killing of Maung A--- perpetrated by soldiers from Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1011, led by Lieutenant Colonel Soe Naing. The incident happened after local taxi drivers forcibly detained Maung A--- and sent him to the BGF camp due to his drunken behaviour in B--- section, Son Nan Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Taw Zone, Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District on April 23rd 2015. He was beaten by the BGF soldiers and ultimately beaten to death by Saw Maung Thet, a soldier from BGF Battalion #1011. He died as a result of his injuries at 12:15 am on April 24th 2015. Although Maung A---’s siblings requested 10,000,000 kyat (US $8,790.80) in compensation from the BGF, it was finally decided by Myaing Gyi Ngu’s second senior monk U Nyan Ni Ka to give them only 3,000,000 kyat (US $2,637.24). Monk U Nyan Ni Ka made explicit violent threats towards Maung A---’s siblings when they went to claim the compensation from him. Currently, they have only received 500,000 kyat (US $439.70), but they have had to accept this amount of money as they are afraid of monk U Nyan Ni Ka and of repercussions from the BGF. For more information on the violent threats made towards Maung A---’s siblings see “Hpa-an Incident Report: Explicit and violent threats in Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, April 2015,”  KHRG, August 2015.

Incident Report | Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District (April 2015)

The following Incident Report was written by a community member in Hpa-an District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.[1] This report was received in June 2015 along with other information from Hpa-an District, including one other incident report, seven interviews, one situation update, and 201 photographs.[2]

Part 1 – Incident Details

Type of Incident

Killing

Date of Incident(s)

April 23rd 2015[3]

Incident Location

(Village, Township and District)

B--- Section, Son Nan Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Taw Zone, Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, [Hlaingbwe Township], Hpa-an District.

 

Victim Information

Name

Maung A---

Age

37

Sex

Male

Nationality

Karen

Family   

Single

Occupation

Casual labourer

Religion

Buddhist

Position

Villager

Village

C--- village

 

Perpetrator Information

Name(s)              

Rank

Unit

Base

Commander’s Name

Saw Maung Thet

Soldier

BGF Battalion #1011

BGF Battalion #1011 base

Lit. Colonel Soe Naing

 Part 2 - Information Quality

1. Explain in detail how you collected this information.

At first I did not know that the killing had happened. I came to know a little bit about the killing case when I arrived at C--- village, where Maung A---’s siblings live, to collect information [on local human rights conditions]. I came to know detailed information about the killing case when I went to request information from a villager from C--- village and the village head.

 

2. Explain how the source verified this information.

The person who gave me the information about this killing case is U D---, a 45-year-old villager from C--- village. His [U D---’s] wife, 47-year-old Naw E---, and 37-year-old Maung A--- [the victim] were relatives from the same village. U D--- said to the researcher, “I feel so sorry for him because he used to come and go and eat in our house [as if it was his house]. He should have been punished in a different way if he was drunk.”

 Part 3 – Complete Description of the Incident

Describe the Incident(s) in complete detail. For each incident, be sure to include 1) when the incident happened, 2) where it happened, 3) what happened, 4) how it happened, 5) who was involved, and 6) why it happened. Also describe any villager response(s) to the incident, the aftermath and the current living situation of the victims. Please use the space prepared below, and create an attachment if needed.

Honestly, I went to C--- village, Ka Taing Ti village tract, Dwe Lo Township, Mu Traw (Hpapun) District, where Maung A--- lived without knowing that Maung A---, at 37 years old, had been killed. When I arrived in C--- village, I came to hear about the killing case a little from other people. Maung A--- was killed in Son Nan Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Taw Zone, Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District, but he lived in C--- village, Ka Taing Ti village tract, Dwe Lo Township, Mu Traw (Hpapun) District.

The incident happened like this: Maung A--- worked as a [casually employed] chef. He cooked in the dormitory of the Healthcare Training School which is located outside of Ka Ma Maung Town. On April 23rd 2015, when he was off duty, he was drunk and he visited Ta Hkwet Hpoh village and B--- section, Son Nan Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Taw Zone, Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, Hpa-an District by boat, crossing the Than Lwin [Salween] River to the opposite side from Ka Ma Maung Town.

There is a Lin Lon Myaing to Hpa-an bus station and taxi stand near the sugar factory in Lin Lon Myaing section, which is near Ta Hkwet Hpoh village. Maung A--- went to the bus station and taxi stand and was doing things such as [drunkenly] asking for driving licenses from the taxi drivers and stopping the taxis when they were about to leave. Therefore, the taxi drivers forcibly detained him and took him to the Border Guard Force (BGF)[4] camp which is in front of the sugar factory on the Myaing Gyi Ngu to Hpa-an Highway.

Having been brought to the camp, he [Maung A---] was hit by soldiers from BGF Battalion #1011 led by Lit. Colonel Soe Naing. Consequently, at 12:15 am on April 24th 2015, Maung A--- passed away in B--- section, Son Nan Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Taw Zone, Myaing Gyi Ngu Town, [Hpa-an District]. The person who killed him was Saw Maung Thet, a soldier from BGF Battalion #1011, led by the commander, Lit. Colonel Soe Naing.

Having heard that Maung A--- was killed by a BGF [soldier], Maung A---’s siblings, who are 45-year-old Maung M---, 39-year-old Ma N---, and 52-year-old U O---, went to B--- section to ask for compensation from the BGF Battalion #1011 [commander]. They asked for 10,000,000 kyat (US $8,790.80)[5] in compensation, but it was decided that they would be given only 3,000,000 kyat (US $2,637.24). However, Myaing Gyi Ngu’s second senior monk U Nyan Ni Ka paid them only 500,000 kyat (US $439.70) [in compensation]. In spite of the fact that U M--- and his siblings were not satisfied, they dared not say anything since they were afraid of the armed actor [the BGF] and they had to accept the money.

Part 4 - Permission for Using the Details

Did the victim(s) provide permission to use this information? Explain how that permission was provided.

U D--- and U G---, who are giving us the information, gave us permission to use the information as needed. I have already asked for their permission.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmar 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 southeast Burma/Myanmar, 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. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s website.

[3] Maung A--- was taken to the BGF camp and beaten on the evening of April 23rd 2015, however as he finally succumbed to his injuries and died at 12:15 am, the actual date of Maung A---’s death is April 24th 2015.

[4] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burma/Myanmar government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard Force” Democratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[5] All estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the July 14th 2015 market rate of 1,137 kyat to the US $1.