Kachin Rights Groups Call for Protection of Women in Conflict Zones

A grocery shop in the house where Nhkum Nang Htang was tortured and killed in Nam Sung village, Kutkai township, northern Shan State

The rights activists also demanded transparency in the investigation of a murder that shocked many last month.

Kachin human rights groups have held a press conference in Yangon to call attention to the security risks facing women in conflict zones. The groups also called for justice in the case of Nhkum Nang Htang, a Kachin woman who was brutally murdered in her home on July 3.

“We are demanding better security for women in conflict-affected areas, and we also want the government to have transparency and to work to find out the truth [about what happened to Nhkum Nang Htang]. We want justice for her,” prominent rights activist Lum Nyoi told KNG.

According to Lum Nyoi, a medical report on the cause of Nhkum Nang Htang’s death has already been transferred from Lashio hospital to Mandalay, but it is still unknown whether she was raped before she was murdered.

“The aim of our press conference is to let the authorities know about [our concerns] through media reports. We will talk about it when we meet government officials. We will try to find the truth. We will discuss the matter with legal experts and civil society organizations to find the solution to the problem,” said Lum Nyoi.

It was learned that Nhkum Nang Htang and her family had previously lived in the Namphakka IDP camp after being forced to flee from clashes between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in 2011. She later returned to Nam Sung, where she opened a grocery shop in the house where she was killed last month.

The Burma Army’s Infantry Battalion 261 is currently deployed in Nam Sung. The KIA and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army are also active in the area.

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