January 12, 2017
At least 12 women, including minor girls were raped during a raid in Gaw Du Thaya, Maungdaw South.
Victims told our correspondent in the area that the security forces apprehended them and confined them on Saturday evening. In the night, at around 9pm, soldiers took turns raping them. The ordeal went on for around two hours after which they were thrown out. The victims also said during the rape, the soldiers brutally assaulted them.
Most of the victims say they were apprehended after soldiers broke into their homes and took them away while beating them. In some cases, soldiers also raped them in their homes.
Our correspondent and other local sources say the actual number of women raped on Saturday night was more, but only a dozen have confessed to the ordeal.
In conservative village societies, many still regard rape as shameful and don’t confess to being the victim. Additionally many women don’t confess in fear of distressing the male members of their families.
Tensions suddenly broke out in Gaw Du Thaya after security forces started assaulting leading community members last week.
Activists allege the Tatmadaw uses rape as a weapon of war to demoralise ethnic minorities before taking over their land.