Viral, Myanmar Military Video Tortures 5 Civilians in a Boat

A blurry image of a person
PIAR— Video footage of Myanmar military officers torturing and torturing five male citizens of the state of Rakhine who was accused of being an Arakan Army rebel network viral on social media.

In a video recorded on Radio Free Asia, May 12, 2020, several Burmese military officers beat five men aboard the Myanmar navy.

The five men were beaten while interrogated with their eyes closed with cloth and their hands tied behind their backs.

They were caught by security forces during a clean-up operation in the village of Kyauk Seik in the city of Ponnagyundi north of Rakhine. This location is believed to be connected with Arakan Army.

The five were then arrested and put on a Myanmar naval ship sailing from Ponnagyun to Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine on April 27.

The victim\'s family revealed after the video was viral that the Myanmar military officers who were interrogating forced the five detainees to admit that they were Arakan Army militia.

Yet according to the victims\' families and local villagers, the five men in the video were civilians, not involved in the Arakan Army armed conflict.

The Myanmar military, also known as Tatmadaw, said that several troops had violated the law and conducted improper interrogation techniques.

In a statement posted on the official website of Myanmar\'s military commanders, the military would take legal action against personnel who carry out interrogations in violation of the law against civilians.

But Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for Asia, said an investigation by the military would not bring justice to the five people who were tortured.

\"The fact that these people were taken from the police station by the military, and allegedly tortured on board and then sent back to the police shows how the military is above the law,\" Roberteson said.

He asked for a full investigation by an independent agency into the torture of 5 Rakhine civilians by the Myanmar military.

Fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army rebels has been heating up in Rakhine and the city of Paletwa in the state of China since 16 months ago. These anti-government forces are declared as illegal organizations and terrorist organizations.

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