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Chin Women’s Group Launch Rape Report

3/27/07 Burma (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) – A new report documenting the use of rape against ethnic women in Burma was launched today, as Burma ’s regime marks “Armed Forces Day”.
Unsafe State : State-sanctioned sexual violence against Chin women in Burma , published by the Women’s League of Chinland, documents 38 cases of sexual violence committed with impunity by the Burma Army throughout Chin State , in western Burma near the India border.
Almost half the cases documented were gang rapes, and at least a third were committed by officers. Sexual violence is typically accompanied by extreme brutality, including severe torture and murder. One woman was stripped naked and tied to a cross, in “a savage act of mockery against her Christian beliefs”, the report claims.
“These horrors are being sanctioned by the state in Burma ,” said Cheery Zahau, a spokesperson for the Women’s League of Chinland. “How can the civilised world accept this junta among their ranks? And how can countries like India and China be arming these rapists?”
The Burma Army has quadrupled its military presence in Chin State in recent years, and the militarisation is expected to increase further if plans go ahead to export natural gas from the Burmese coast by pipeline through Chin State to India.
Stuart Windsor, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) National Director said: “The Chin people are among the most forgotten people in the world, and their suffering is horrendous. The use of rape, accompanied by religious persecution and forced labour, should not be tolerated. It is time for the international community to act.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Unsafe State follows several other reports from other ethnic women’s groups on the use of rape by the Burma Army, including Licence to Rape by the Shan Women’s Action Network, Shattering Silences by the Karen Women’s Organisation, and State of Terror by the Karen Women’s Organisation.
CSW recently hosted a delegation of Chin activists including Cheery Zahau to raise awareness in London , Brussels , Berlin and Washington , DC about the plight of the Chin.
CSW has made two fact-finding visits to the Chin people on the India-Burma border.
To view the full report, click here