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01/21/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Kachin Christians continue to seek justice for the two ethnic Kachin teachers who were allegedly raped and killed by the Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) in 2015.

Maran Lu Ra, 20, and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin, 21, were sent by the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) to Shan state as volunteer teachers since May 2014.

Although the police and Tatmadaw continue to deny Tatmadaw’s involvement in the killing of the two girls, according to villagers, on January 19, 2015, troops from 503rd Light Infantry battalion tortured and gang-raped the two Christian teaching volunteers before brutally killing them out of revenge, after Tatmadaw units and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) clashed in nearby Kachin State.

UCA News reports that some 28 soldiers were suspected of involvement in the case but the KBC was told that none of the soldiers’ DNA matched that found on the bodies.

The KBC has conducted its own investigation into the murders and believes that no local villagers were responsible for the crime.

As KBC held the 6th memorial service for the victims and their family on Tuesday, some 39 civil society groups in Kachin state have demanded that the real perpetrators face justice. They said the government needs to bring the culprits to court and punish them as soon as possible.

“Towards prevailing truth and justice, pressure is needed upon the government and the military by embassies and international rights groups,” said the groups in a Jan. 19 joint statement.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.