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PMF Beats Kachin Youth at Checkpoint in Hukawng Valley

Lamai Htoi Bawk was beaten by the government-back military group in Hukawng Valley, Kachin State, on Aug. 24, 2020.

A family of a Kachin youth, who was beaten by the Shahtuzup People’s Militia Force, (PMF) in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley, demanded the Northern Military Command punish their son’s assailants.

Lamai Htoi Bawk, 20, was beaten by the PMF at about 2:00 p.m. on August 24 after his vehicle accidentally struck a bamboo rod that was part of their checkpoint.

His father told KNG that his son was transporting sand and stones to a road project in their village when the accident occurred. “Two PMF soldiers bound my son and another beat him with the butt of a gun until he was unconscious.”

Lamai Brang Nu reported the incident to the appropriate PMF unit and Northern Military Command headquarters. After receiving an apology from the deputy head of Shahtuzup PMF, he said he does not intend to press charges.

Lamai Htoi Bawk, 20, is undergoing medical treatment for head injuries and injuries to other parts of his body at Myitkyina Public Hospital.

According to locals, Shahtuzup PMF’s camp, near Sanpya village, was built in May 2019 under the protection of Burma Army’s IB-297. Villagers from Sanpya, Awng Ra, and Ban Kawk opposed the camp in their area because they feared it would lead to fighting with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), also based in the area.

Naw Dee, the village headman for Warazup, told KNG they don’t want any of the armed organizations to “bully” civilians. “Locals don’t want armed organizations in their areas. Residents were against the PMF camp since they started building it.”

In 2018, fighting between the Burma Army and KIA intensified in amber-rich mining areas in the Hukawng Valley, but no clashes have been reported since.

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