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ICC Note: Ongoing military conflicts in northern Myanmar between independent armies and the military have inflicted misery to Myanmar’s ethnic minority groups – including Ta’ang and majority Christian Kachin. Matthew Wells, a Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International just returned from northern Shan State. He details the team’s investigation in this article.

08/27/2017 Myanmar (The Diplomat) –The soldier held a knife to Dau’s nose, threatening to slice it if he didn’t answer the questions correctly. Dau had faced the same questions all day: did he fight for an armed group? did he provide fighters food? where were those fighters now?

A procession of Myanmar Army soldiers had tried to one-up each other in extracting answers. The less creative ones stomped Dau with their boots, smacked him with their fists and rifles. Another soldier burned his face and neck with a lighter. One thrust a knife towards Dau again and again, pulling back just before stabbing him.

The scariest, for Dau, was when they stuffed him in a sack and zipped it shut. “It was very difficult to breathe. I was really struggling.”

Dau and another torture survivor told me that they had been taken on the morning of July 7, 2017, when more than 100 soldiers from two of the Army’s infantry battalions stormed into their village in Manton Township, northern Shan State, and arrested eight people, including two women. The Army had been ambushed nearby the night before by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), one of several ethnic armed groups fighting Myanmar’s military in a region near the China border.

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