The man who took photos of a young girl being beaten that were later posted to Facebook was questioned by Rangoon police today.
The story of child abuse went viral on Burmese social media last week. Photos showed a young girl appearing to be lashed while naked and tied up with two older women also in shot. The abuse took place at the home of a military appointee to Burma’s Upper House of Parliament, Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw.
The neighbour who took the photos has been named as Sithu and was questioned following orders from the township court.
Sithu claimed the eight-year-old girl had been abused for weeks.
Online attention prompted police last week to visit the house where the girl was living. Located on University Avenue in Bahan Township, where Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw lives with his wife Yin Yin Nwe.
Yin Yin Nwe identified the woman in the photos as her housemaid Than Nwe. Yin Yin Nwe, also pictured in the shots, claimed Than Nwe was punishing the girl for misbehaving.
Than Nwe turned herself in for questioning to the Bahan police on Sunday.
She had been charged for maltreatment under article 66(d) of the Child Law, which carries a maximum punishment of two years imprisonment. A lawsuit has also been filed by the chief of the local Social Welfare and Relief Department.
The abused girl was legally under the care of major Kyaw Nu Maw and Yin Yin Nwe according to documentation obtained by DVB.
Bahan police have said the girl and her biological mother are now staying at the local Social Welfare and Relief Department, however a member of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) has given a conflicting report.
Member of 88GPOS, Mee Mee, told DVB: “Dan Tahndar Chow, the [biological] mother of the child, has been at the house and I was able to speak to the housemaid when I call her. I was told both the housemaid and the child since the incident took place have not gone anywhere but been in the house the whole time. I put that on speakerphone in front of the police station superintendent so he could also hear it,” Mee Mee said.
“But the police claimed they looked for the two inside the house and I’m not sure how they missed them,” she added.
Child abuse cases rarely gain media attention in Burma but increased use of social media and mobile phone technology has meant more people are sharing such stories online.