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New report exposes nationwide military rape in Burma

The Women's League of Burma has released a new report System of Impunity exposing ongoing sexual violence by the regime's armed forces throughout Burma, as they continue to build up their military infrastructure and consolidate control in every part of the country.

Women and girls in all the ethnic states, as well as in Central Burma have suffered experiences of rape by SPDC military personnel, including gang rape and murder, sexual slavery and forced ‘marriage.’ The report details ongoing incidents of sexual violence, as recently as July 31, 2004, when a 12-year-old Palaung ethnic girl was raped in Shan State.

Sexual violence by the military is shown to be prevalent not only in the civil war zones, but also in the ceasefire areas or ‘non-conflict’ areas. Soldiers, captains, commanders and other SPDC officials nationwide are committing rape with impunity, making no woman or girl safe from rape and sexual torture under the current regime.

Most of the documented stories of rapes and gang rapes have either been perpetrated by senior military officers or authorities, or with their complicity. Almost all the incidents took place during 2003 and 2004, precisely while the regime has been repeatedly denying prevalence of military rape in Burma.

"Military rule and military rape are two sides of the same coin," said Thin Thin Aung, the Joint - General Secretary of the WLB.  "The regime should not waste its time denying the prevalence of rape. If they are really serious about ending sexual violence, they must hand power back to the people, demobilize their troops, and let the rule of law be restored."

The WLB is appealing to countries in the region to review their policies towards Burma and to push for speedy democratic reform. "Regional cooperation with the regime is placing the lives of women and girls in Burma at risk," said Nang Hseng Noung, the General Secretary of the WLB.

The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) is an umbrella organization comprising 11 women’s organizations of different ethnic backgrounds of Burma. WLB’s mission is to work for the women of Burma in striving for solidarity, empowerment and national reconciliation.

The report can be viewed at (

For further information please contact:

Nang Hseng Noung         Tel: +66 1 884 4963       
            Email: <[email protected]>

Thin Thin Aung              Tel: + 66 7 187 7735 (or) Tel: + 91 989 125 2316         
                                    Email: <[email protected]>