Kachin village chair beaten by troops

Oct 17, 2008 (DVB), A village chairperson from Moe-mauk township in Kachin state was seriously injured after being beaten by government troops at a military checkpoint on 14 October.

Narlone village chair Brang Awng, 40, was in search of missing villager Phadut Naw when he was stopped at Light Infantry Battalion 105’s Lajayang checkpoint at the entrance to Laiza.

Phadut Naw, a Kachin Independence Organisation soldier who was expelled from the armed wing of the group, had last been seen as he was being taken away bound with ropes.

Brang Awng thought that Phadut Naw would be at the KIO headquarters in Laiza and went there to negotiate for his release.

But when he reached the checkpoint, SPDC troops accused him of recruiting soldiers for the KIO and beat him up, according to a family member.

"Two of his upper teeth and two lower teeth were loosened. His lips were swollen. He can’t hear anymore," Brang Awng's relative said.

"His chest was stamped on. His neck was jammed and they shoved a gun in his mouth," she went on.

"He is at home now, but he hasn't been able to eat for two days. Last night, he was taken away again."

A KIO member and another former KIO member who accompanied Brang Awng on his search were not arrested.

Local officials in Kachin state have previously faced mistreatment from the local military forces.

On 19 September, two people in charge of night watch duty in Myitkyina and ward secretary Gam Awng were beaten up for questioning a Military Affairs Security officer who was walking the streets late at night.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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