KNWO Wants Women and Children Prisoners in Kayah State Freed

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Women and children who have been arrested by the military council are likely to suffer physical and permanent mental trauma in detention camps, according to the Karenni National Women Organization (KNWO).

“We want the military junta to release all the women who have been detained…They (soldiers) use brutal ways to interrogate people in the detention camp. They commit sexual abuses on women,” said Ma Mee Mee, KNWO chair.

Although some women and youths have been released, others have been charged with Article 505 (a) of Burma’s Penal Code that carries a conviction of three years.

Burma Army arrested 14 people, at a peaceful demonstration in Ner Nat Taw Ward in Loikaw Township on May 12. The next day, eight people, some included women and children, were freed. But six women who were not released were charged for violation of Article 505 (a). They were arraigned on May 14 and their next court appearance is May 26.

“We do not want soldiers to beat women during interrogation. I heard they were torturing them. I am concerned about my mom because I haven’t be allowed to see her,” said a person whose 48-year-old mother was arrested and is being held in Loikaw Prison.

Armed forces arrested 74 youths in Hpruso town on April 30 for attending a capacity building training, accusing them of attending military training and charging all of them with Article 505 (a).

The Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) said they were accused of causing “regional instability” and “trying to destroy the peace process” for providing the 10 day training session. “It’s pretty clear that we need to give capacity building training for our youths,” said an official from KSCC responsible for the workshop. To maintain “regional stability” the official is demanding for all the youths to be freed.

According to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, since May 19 there have been 4,054 people arrested or charged, while 92 people have received prison sentences. Since the coup, 805 were killed by the military council’s armed forces.

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