Action will be taken against policemen caught beating villagers in Rakhine

02 January 2017
Action will be taken against policemen caught beating villagers in Rakhine
Legal action to be taken against police allegedly responsible for abuse of villagers - Screenshot from the video from Ro Nay San Lwin/Facebook

State Counsellor Office Press Committee Secretary Zaw Htay said that some policemen who violated human rights during an area clearing operation conducted in Maungdaw area, Rakhine State will face legal action.
On January 1,Zaw Htay replied to a question raised on a video clip that went viral on social media in which some policemen from No. 2 Border Guard Police and No. 36 Police Battalion are seen beating and kicking villagers on November 5, 2016 in Koedankauk village, Maungdaw Township during an area clearing operation.
“We have said this before early. We will take action over such human rights violations. We will not spare them,” Zaw Htay said.
State Counsellor Office Press Committee issued a news release on the evening of January 1 explaining that policeman Zaw Myo Htike from No. 36 Police Battalion took this video clip with his mobile phone during their area clearing operation.
The news release further said that the preliminary investigation revealed that the main person who was allegedly responsible for this incident was Pol. Maj. Tun Naing of No. 2 Police Border Guard and other persons who were responsible were allegedly Police Sub-inspector Tayzar Lin from No. 36 Police Battalion, policeman Zaw Myo Htike who took the video clip and another policeman Pyae Phyo Thwin who beat and kicked the villagers.
The news release further says the investigation is still underway to reveal the other policemen who beat and kicked the villagers and action is being taken in accordance with the Police Discipline Regulation.
Zaw Htay said, “We have told them repeatedly to perform their duty with caution and in accordance with the law and to avoid violating human rights. We gave this instruction to both military units and the police force there through their chain of commands. We have already told them we would take action against those violators from the top to down.”
The news release says that the area clearing operation was conducted after six terrorists came with three motorcycles along the Maungdaw-Ahlae Than kyaw road and opened fire with small arms on police outposts on November 3 in the evening which killed one police corporal and injured another. Then the police received information that these terrorists were hiding in Koedankauk village.
According to the government news release, during the visit to Koedankauk village by foreign diplomats, some villagers staged a demonstration with placards that the government claims carried misinformation.
A police team entered the village to expose the mastermind behind this demonstration who arranged and distributed these placards with incorrect messages used in the demonstration, the news release says.