Saturday, August 19, 2017

Higher court to decide on child rape case

The South Dagon township court has deferred delivering a verdict in a child rape case and has referred the matter to a higher court, the East District court.

When the matter came up for the final verdict on Monday, officials announced that the matter was being referred to the East District Court for adjudication.

Most child rape cases are heard in District and not in township courts.

The grandfather of the five-year-old victim said that the move by the township court had caused anxiety for the victim’s family.

“This case was heard in township court and lasted for more than one year. The final verdict was supposed to be delivered on Monday but instead it was transferred to a higher East District court,” he said.

“We thought we could see the end of this matter but now we are anxious about the matter and the verdict,” he said.

The mother of the victim died when she was two years old and her father could not raise her.

She then was raised by her grandparents.

The rape was reported on May 11, 2016 and the accused is an 18-year-old boy.

The offence was allegedly committed in the South Dagon Township in Yangon Region.

The South Dagon township court transferred the case for a verdict on a charge under sections 376 and 511 of the penal code for committing rape and attempting to commit the offences after a trial lasting for more than a year.

The East District court will be hearing on July 10 the final submissions again for a final verdict.

“This case is the most important case among about 20 child rape cases that we are supporting”, said Daw Win Win Khaing, a member of Akhaya Women Myanmar, which is assisting local women and child rape victims.

According to statistics from the government, child rape cases account for more than half of all rapes cases in Myanmar.

Three women are raped a day and under-aged children are included in that number, according to 2016 rape figures.

In 2016, there were 1163 rape cases across Myanmar, including 492 adult cases and 671 child cases.

According to current law, the maximum sentence for child rape is 20 years, but attempts are being made to introduce the death sentence.