KIA Accused Of Beating And Detaining Civilians

The flag of KIA, the armed wing of Kachin Independence Organization.

A Kachin Independence Army (KIA) officer and several soldiers stand accused of assaulting civilians and then detaining some of them after attending a karaoke establishment in Mohnyin District, located in Burma’s Kachin State.

Win Naing says a KIA officer and eight soldiers beat him around 7 p.m. on July 6 outside Cho Rita KTV restaurant in Selzin village, located in Haung Per village-tract.

He says KIA officer Hkawn Lum arrived with Burma Army Capt Nyi Nyi Aung while he was singing, just after he finished his dinner. After Win Naing paid his bill and was getting ready to leave he said Hkawn Lum hugged his neck and offered to send him home. “Without saying anything, he started beating me when we left the KTV.”

Win Naing says that Capt Nyi Nyi Aung and about seven others witnessed the attack, but no-one intervened.

A witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that KIA soldiers assaulted Win Naing and then attacked four students being noisy on motorcycles. “The KIA soldiers, who were not in uniform, attacked the students. The students fought back until the soldiers pulled out their guns. Two students escaped and two were detained by soldiers, who took them away in their car.”

Lamai Gum Ja, from Kachin Peace-Talk Creation Group, told KNG the KIA has denied the accusations against Hkawn Lum of Battalion-26 and the eight other Kachin soldiers who were fingered. “KIA headquarters formed a committee and are investigating the case but say their soldiers didn’t commit any wrongdoing.”

Win Naing says he reported the incident to the Shan Literature and Culture Committee and the minister of Shan Affairs.

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