Police dismiss rape of three girls

Nov 30, 2009 (DVB), Police in Burma's former capital have refused to investigate the rape of three sisters, one aged five, by a known paedophile due to their mother's inability to pay costs demanded by the police.

A source close to the girls' family told DVB on condition of anonymity that they were raped separately on 7, 8 and 9 November by a 40-year-old male who lived on the same street in Rangoon's Hlaing Tharyar township.

The other two girls were aged eight and 13.Police had demanded that the mother, a refuse scavenger, pay 20,000 kyat ($US20) to investigate the case.

"The family's landlord who lives in the same house as them saw bruises on the girls' genitals when they were taking a shower and asked them what happened," said the source."The girls told her that they were raped and that the man threatened to kill them if they told anybody what happened."

The source added that the man had lured the girls to a quiet location near to a bridge in Hlaing Tharyar where they were raped.

"This is the second time the man has been accused of this kind of offense; he is on a bail from another child rape case."

The mother went to the local police station on 11 November and attempted to file the case, but could only pay 200 kyat (20¢) of the 20,000 kyat demanded by the police chief.

It is not legal protocol for victims in Burma to pay police to investigate cases, although corruption among the police force and judicial system is widespread.

The source said their mother's attempt to open a case with the police had failed as she couldn't pay 20,000 kyat to them as demanded. The same problem occurred when the girls were taken to hospital.

"On 15 November, their mother and I took the girls to Hlaing Tharyar hospital because they were feeling pain from the wounds," said the source. "But the hospital refused to give them treatment because the police have not yet accepted their case."

He said the man accused of the rape has gone into hiding.

Hlaing Tharyar police and the local Myanmar [Burma] Women's Affairs Federation were unavailable for comments.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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