Seven Villagers Tortured and Killed by Burma Army4 February 2015 Kachin State, Burma
The following is evidence gathered by the Free Burma Rangers in the cases of seven villagers tortured and killed by soldiers of the Burma Army in Nam Lim Pa and Mung Ding Pa villages, Kachin State, Burma, during an attack that began on 17 November 2013.
On 17 November 2013, the Burma Army attacked Nam Lim Pa Village and Mung Ding Pa Village, first with mortar fire, then machine gun and infantry assault. They looted the villages and burned homes as well as damaging the churches. Most of the villagers fled but nine were captured; of these, one man was beaten and tied up but escaped and one was a grandmother who was robbed and her animals killed but she survived.
Their eyewitness accounts along with those in hiding and the families of the villagers who later found the bodies (six were found, two are still missing) provide the information in this report. Of the seven villagers tortured to death FBR found five of the bodies. Three of the bodies were examined and photographed and the details below cover these three victims.
The seven killed were:
- Brang Aung
- La PaiNaw
- La Pai Du Naw
- La Bang La Ring
- Brang Sang
- Poi Kham Kya
- A man known to us as Sa Dwe (Uncle)
This report includes forensic evidence discovered by FBR relief teams who found the bodies two months after the killings, as well as written testimony of family members of each of the victims.
The families of the seven tortured to death have asked for justice and three of the families appealed to the Government of Myanmar but there has been no response.
We were asked to help highlight these cases and to help bring justice for these families and their loved ones who were brutally killed. Thank you for caring for these people and helping work for justice in this case.
Original FBR Report:
BODIES OF TORTURED VICTIMS FOUND IN NAM LIM PA
Nam Lim Pa Village, Kachin State, Burma: On 30 January, while conducting a medical clinic and documenting evidence of the Burma Army’s recent attacks, Free Burma Rangers relief teams found three bodies with evidence of torture. All three were killed when the Burma Army attacked Nam Lim Pa and a neighboring village in late November 2013 (see FBR report); a total of seven people were killed in these November attacks, in Nam Lim Pa and nearby Mung Ding Pa. Family members of the victims are spread between different IDP sites, and some are in hiding near Nam Lim Pa.
One of the victims was identified as La Bang La Ring (pictured in this report); he was killed by the Burma Army in Nam Lim Pa and found by his family on 2 January 2014 with six deep knife or axe cuts on his back, as well as other signs of torture. La Bang La Ring was a deaf-mute.
The sister of Nhkun Brang Aung, one of the men tortured and killed by the Burma Army in Nam Lim Pa on 17 November 2013, was able to provide details of his death. Nhkun Brang Aung was 20 years old and mentally disabled. When everyone else was fleeing the advancing Burma Army troops, he said he was not afraid of the Burma Army because he did not believe troops would bother someone like him.
Another unidentified body was found with rope burns, and his head had been scalded with boiling water; his body bore signs of additional torture; he had been shot to death.
***This reflects new information discovered after the initial report went out.
Excerpts From Written Testimonies from Victims’ Families:
Sister of Nhkun Brang Aung. I am a teacher from Nam Lim Pa Village, Mansi Township, Bhamo District. My name is Daw Aing Kwan Jar San. Body discovered 31 December 2013 and reburied 30 January 2014.
My brother, Mai Aing Khun Brang Aung, and I lived together with our mother, Daw L’Byaw Gai Sang in Nam Lim Pa Village. We ran a shop. My brother had had a stroke years ago because of a serious illness and his brain had been affected so that he had to take medicine regularly.
On 16 November 2013, at 3:00pm, the Burma Army came to the village. When we saw the entry of the Burma Army, we realized the fighting was going to break out and ran away.
When the rest of the family ran away, my brother told them, “I was not doing anything against the government, so I don’t have any reason to run. And I don’t want to run to the jungle, where I can’t take my medicine regularly.” So he stayed behind in the house.
My mother and I fled to Na Lee Maw’s farm, seven miles away from the village, and hid there. On 17 November 2013 we heard that fighting had broken out in the village.
On 31 December 2013, we heard that the Burma Army was no longer in the village so we went back. We immediately started looking for our brother but we couldn’t find him in the house. The whole house had been ransacked and all the food supplies had been looted. The value of the looted items was about 1,000,000 kyat.
Since I didn’t find my brother in the house I went to the house of U La Sang La, which is three doors from our house. I saw a suspicious pile of dirt in the garden; we dug it up and saw my brother – he had been killed. When I saw his body, I fell down unconscious.
The evidence that proved it was my brother was as follows:
- Because of his stroke he often burned himself on the right side – the right side of this body had scarring from hot water also.
- We recognized the clothes he was wearing as his clothes.
- The body was not completely decomposed yet because it was winter and the weather had been cold and dry – it was recognizable.
There was no one to witness the Burma Army’s killing of my brother because only the Burma Army was in the village; but this itself proves that the Burma Army killed him, because no one else was there to kill him. Some documents belonging to the Burma Army were found in the area. Thus, from
these two pieces of evidence I can say that the Burma Army killed my brother.
My brother’s right arm was cut off at the shoulder. The calf of his right leg had been cut off. The documents they found near my brother’s body were from Army 5059, Captain Kan Zaw, from the office of Company 2; also from Lt. Kyaw Mo Khine, of Platoon 1, a one-star. And, finally, Lt. Thein Tun from Platoon 2.
Now I’m teaching children in La Nah ShoJa IDP camp. I have learned more about human rights from the books that were sent to the camp by the NGO. Instead of protecting the people, the Burma Army is torturing and killing them. If they keep doing this the fighting in Kachin State will never end.
We heard that according to the constitution of 2008, when the rights of the citizen are violated there must be an investigation and the perpetrator must be handed over to the proper government department. Therefore I appeal to you to find out who is the perpetrator and also to have a professional examine the body and I will volunteer to show the body of my brother.
Signed: Daw Aing Kwan Jar San
Wife of U La Pai Naw, last seen 17 November 2013, presumed dead.
I am Daw Baw Sa Ma Dwang, from Nam Lim Pa Village, Mansi Township, Bhamo
District in Kachin State.
On 17 November 2013, my husband, U Lah Pai Naw, and I were working on the farm. We had been there for so long that we had run out of rice, cooking oil, and salt. At about 7:00 my husband left for the village to buy the needed cooking items. At 9:00 I heard gunshots from the village and became
very worried. My husband didn’t come back and I was afraid to go back to the village. This lasted for days; almost every day gunshots came from the village and I waited for my husband to return.
In January 2014, the pastor, Kaw Aung, and church assistant, U Bowt Naw, came to see me and bring me back to the village. My husband has never come back, since that day. He is missing. When my husband went back to the village, the Burma Army had already occupied it. The troops there were
headed by Strategic Commander Myint Naing Oo. According to the villagers, the troops stayed in the village a long time.
Mr. President U Thein Sein and Thu Ra Shwe Ma, chairman of Parliament, are changing Burma now but the army is still disappearing, killing, the ethnic nationalities, so we are far from peace. How can we bring the truth to them? My husband had no contact with any organization; he was only a farmer. Now I have no husband and it’s difficult for me to live.
Signed: Daw Baw Sa Ma Dwang
Father of La Bang La Ring, body found 3 January 2014 and reburied 30 January 2014
I am La Bang La, father of La Bang La Ring, who was killed by the Burma Army. I am from Nam Lim Pa Village of Mansi Township in Bhamo District. I respectfully file this report.
I had a son named La Bang La Ring (30 years old). My son was deaf and could not speak. Although La Bang La Ring was deaf and couldn’t speak, his mind was normal and he understood everything. He could communicate with sign language very well. On 17 November 2013, the Burma Army came and attacked Nam Lim Pa Village with heavy mortars and then came to the village. My family ran away to the jungle, three furlongs from the village.
La Bang La Ring didn’t run away because he was taking care of his livestock, a pig. By 3 January 2014 we knew the Burma Army had left the village. As soon as we knew they had left we returned to the village from our hiding place in the jungle.
We looked for La Bang La Ring but could not find him. We continued to look for him and found something like a grave beside Palai Naw’s house. We dug it up and there was a body; the body was a little bit decomposed but I knew it was my son. The clothes on it were my son’s. We reburied him but didn’t have much time as the Burma Army came back and we had to run to the jungle again.
There were two witnesses of the Burma Army killing my son:
- U Htoi La’s wife (age 70, staying in Nam Lim Pa Village)
- Daw Ja Bawt (age 40, Nam Lim Pa Village)
They say my son was finding food for his pig and the Burma soldiers killed and ate his pig. He was angry and confronted the soldiers; because he could not speak or hear he gestured angrily at them and also had a slingshot. The Burma soldiers tied his hands behind his back and poured boiling water on his head and tortured him to death.
The occupying battalion number was the 276th Infantry Battalion under the command of Special Operations Bureau commander Myint Naing Oo.
My family does farming and is not working with any organization. My son, La Bang La Ring, who was deaf and could not speak, knew everyone and everyone knew him. My family is very sad because my son was tortured to death. I want to know who killed my son.
Signed: La Bang La
Thank you and God bless you,
The Free Burma Rangers