During the 50 years of dictatorship, the Burmese military enjoyed total impunity, as long as it posed no problems for people of higher rank. This culture is still strongly present since the change of Government four years ago. The recent ouster of the president of the ruling party, banned of move overnight with the help of the national police and army, is the most recent example.
Even today, there is no transparency when human rights abuses are committed by members of the army.
The case of Aung Kyaw Naing is the most glaring example of recent years. He was a sympathizer of a Karen armed group and an freelance journalist.
While covering clashes between the Burmese army and armed ethnic forces in Mon state in September 2014, he was arrested by the army.
The army did reveal it but three weeks later, accusing him of being the “person-in-charge of communication” for the ethnic armed group. They also revealed that he was killed while trying to escape.
As a result of pressures at the national and international levels, the police and the National Human Rights Commission opened an investigation in November. The burial of his body revealed the probable torture and murder by five bullets.
Discovery of the body of Aung Kyaw Naing, tortured and killes by the army
Human rights abuses committed by the army continue to go unpunished
The civil suit was dropped week after week, a witness or the judge were absent.
For cons, the military court, closed to the media, acquitted the two soldiers accused of being murderers. In June, the prosecutor in the ongoing civil trial was abruptly transferred in Northern Arakan, and a few days after the case was closed.
This is just one of the newest and most striking examples because he was a journalist.
Another less publicized, took place in Chin state in August of the same year. Soldiers of the Burmese army beat seven farmers for several days, tortured some. The farmers were accused of being in contact with the Chin National Army. Today, no proceedings exist against these soldiers.
In remote areas, the military is supreme. In Shan state, July 2014, near the fighting between the Burmese army and armed ethnic groups, two army officers were murdered. The following days, the soldiers come to question the villagers and tortured village headmen to obtain information. Soon the town was empty of its inhabitants who leave everything on site for fear of reprisals from the military.