End Wartime Torture in Kachin State and Northern Shan State
Ongoing War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, Unmet Humanitarian Needs
This report by Fortify Rights describes the systematic use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment (“ill treatment”) of more than 60 civilians by Burmese authorities from June 2011 to April 2014.
For the past three years, Burmese authorities have systematically tortured Kachin civilians perceived to be aligned with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Kachin survivors described to Fortify Rights how Burmese authorities tied rope or wire around their necks, hands, and feet. Many were subjected to severe beatings during prolonged interrogation sessions, and some reported having metal rods or bamboo rolled on their shins.
Burmese Army soldiers forced civilian detainees to dig what they were told would be their own graves, before releasing them from custody.
In October 2013, “Maru Seng,” 45, was tied with wire around his neck, hands, and feet, denied food and water, and beaten severely by Burmese Army soldiers. He attempted to escape and was shot in the head by a Burmese Army soldier, only to survive to endure more torture.
“I thought they would kill me,” he told Fortify Rights.
Fortify Rights believes that the instances of torture described in “I Thought They Would Kill Me” constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Moreover, according to the report, Burmese Army soldiers operated within a permissive environment with respect to the use of torture, and torture appears to have been carried out with the knowledge and consent of senior military officers.