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ICC Note: Two Kachin youth pastors in northern Myanmar were beaten by Burmese army-backed militia last week. The army-based Border Guard Force (BGF) kicked and beat the two members of the Kachin Baptist Convention after they asked them to stop destroying villagers’ homes. Both pastors were injured, and one pastor’s wife was also attacked.

08/06/2018 Myanmar (Morning Star News) – Burmese army-backed militia beat two youth pastors in northern Burma (Myanmar) last week, detaining one of them overnight at the force’s base, sources said.

At the home of one of the Christians in Kachin state, members of the army-based Border Guard Force (BGF) on Tuesday (July 31) kicked and beat with rifle butts the two members of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) after the Christians asked them to stop destroying villagers’ homes.

The BGF members were damaging and destroying homes of predominantly Christian Kachin people, including the fence of the home of one of the youth pastors, while clearing drains in Sadon village, Waingmaw Township, sources said.

The BGF troops hit the two ethnic Kachin youth pastors, Mading Zaidan Bawm Ying and Lagyi Naw Awn, with rifle butts and also beat Bawm Ying’s wife, the sources said. Bawm Ying’s injuries were evident.

“His mouth was injured, and blood came out from his mouth as he was punched and hit,” the Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, secretary of the KBC, told Morning Star News. “His face was bruised. His wife was also dragged and beaten by the soldiers.”

Militia members regularly abuse civilians, but this assault drew attention because it involved the church leaders, he said.

Bawm Ying’s wife told Kachin News Group that the BGF destroyed villagers’ fences while they were working on the drains. She said that the soldiers punched and hit Bawm Ying when he tried to stop them from demolishing fences at their home.

“I told them not to beat him,” she reportedly said. “I was dragged and punched twice in my jaw. They also punched Pastor Lagyi Naw Awn, who came to handle the case. Two soldiers held my husband against the wall, and their leader punched him wholeheartedly. I saw him vomiting blood.”

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