A Rangoon court has indicted a housemaid at the centre of a child abuse scandal.
On Monday, Bahan Township Court formally charged Than Nwe under Article 66(d) of the Child Law. Than Nwe faces a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment if found guilty on the charge. An additional lawsuit has been filed by the chief of the local Social Welfare and Relief Department.
At the time of the alleged abuse, Than Nwe was employed as a housemaid in the home of Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw, a military appointee in the upper house of parliament.
Photos circulated online in November 2015 of the maid tying up a naked child, ostensibly as punishment. The girl was later revealed to be an eight-year-old servant in the home.
A concerned neighbour photographed the incident, claiming the young girl had been abused for weeks.
The viral post prompted police to investigate the home on University Avenue in Bahan Township, where Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw lives with his wife Yin Yin Nwe.
Yin Yin Nwe identified the woman as her maid, and confirmed the lashing was dealt as punishment. Than Nwe later turned herself in to police for questioning.
A military tribunal discharged Maj. Kyaw Nu Maw from Burma’s defence force after the allegations surfaced and garnered widespread attention.
A leading member of the civil society group 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, Mee Mee, told DVB that the upcoming trial will test the government’s commitment to the rule of law.