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Archive for Monday, February 12, 2007

Myanmar military faces rape, torture allegations

February 12, 2007

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— Myanmar's military is subjecting Karen women to brutal rapes, torture, murder and forced labor for the army as part of its ongoing offensive against the ethnic minority group, according to a report released today.

The report by the activist Karen Women's Organization cites in often gruesome detail the cases of 959 women and girls in Karen State, from 1981 until 2006. Thousands of other cases of abuse involving women also are noted.

Similar allegations, denied by Myanmar's ruling junta, have been made in recent years including a report of widespread sexual assaults against women of the Shan ethnic group that sparked an international outcry.

The authors are members of an exiles' organization working along the Thai-Myanmar border.

According to the report, women were frequently gang raped, sometimes killed afterward, and in every case the assailants - both soldiers and officers - escaped punishment.

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