Rebel group executes Myanmar child rapist freed by junta

A Shan woman takes part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Feb 24, 2021. - AFP

YANGON (AFP): A rebel group in Myanmar has executed a man for raping and killing a five-year-old girl shortly after he was released in a prison amnesty by the military junta, a spokesperson for the group said Wednesday (April 14).

It is the second case since December of a child killer and rapist receiving the death penalty from an ethnic armed group in Myanmar's Shan state.

Myanmar's judiciary has not ordered prisoner executions since 1988. However, in some border territories controlled by ethnic armed groups a parallel legal system operates and capital punishment is exercised.

A court administered by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army in Namhsan township sentenced the 24-year-old perpetrator to death earlier this month.

Rebel group spokesman Major Tar Aik Kyaw told AFP that the man had received an amnesty from the junta and had only been back in his home village for 21 days before committing the crime.

"Our court found clearly he was guilty of this crime. He even committed (similar) crimes in the past. Therefore, the court gave him the death sentence," the spokesman told AFP.

The man had previously faced allegations of raping a 54-year-old woman and a four-year-old girl but did not face legal action after he paid compensation, according to the spokesperson.

He was serving a seven-year sentence for robbery and accessory to murder when the junta released him on February 12.

Myanmar's junta released more than 23,000 inmates in February.

Shan State is home to several ethnic armed groups that control territories where their civilian populations are governed under each group's set of laws.

In December, another armed ethnic group in the same state -- the Shan State Progress Party -- sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for the kidnap, rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.

Non-governmental organisations say child rape is common in Myanmar, and have long called for increased child protection and sex education programs.

Since the military coup in Myanmar on Feb 1, which ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the military junta has sought to revive the death penalty.

At a military tribunal in Yangon, seven protesters accused of murdering a suspected informer were sentenced to death, state media said Tuesday.

Three of the demonstrators were tried in absentia.

Last weekend, state media reported that 19 people had been sentenced to death for robbery and murder by a military court, with 17 of them tried in absentia.

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Myanmar , rebels , rapist , child , execute , junta , freed


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