Wrongfully Arrested, Violently Abused – IGLHRC and Myanmar LGBT Rights Network Call for Justice
On July 7, 20 plain-clothed police officers forcefully arrested 10 gay men and transgender women outside the Sedona Hotel in Mandalay, Myanmar. Nine were dragged, kicked and handcuffed while being taken to the Division Police Station for questioning—one person was able to escape. At the police station, they were subjected to further humiliation and abuse. On July 6, two other transgender women were arrested in the same area.
Myat Noe, one of those arrested and a member of the gay dance troupe widely known as Moe Gyo Hngat Ngae, recounted,
When we arrived at the Division Police Station, the police forcibly pulled off our clothes, kicked and beat us. Our breasts were squeezed, scratched and beaten with police batons.
They forced us to do frog jumps, without clothes, and shout that we are not women but men. When we did as they said, we were beaten again because our voices sound feminine. They slapped our faces and shouted out, ‘Shout like a man! Sound like a man!’ I’ve never experienced terror like this.
Mandalay Police deny the allegations, claiming the arrests were in response to complaints of public disturbances. They maintain that their conduct was professional.
Soe Nyein, a Mandalay Division police officer reiterated, “Since they are men, we must not let them go into men’s cells with wigs, bras, condoms and women’s attire. We had to take them all off. We have much evidence to prove this, however, I have nothing to say about being accused of abusing them.
Send a letter to officials in Myanmar »
The Myanmar LGBT Rights Network and IGLHRC are calling for a full and fair investigation into police conduct on July 6 and 7. The police officers responsible should be identified and brought to justice, regardless of position or rank.
We urge the President of Mayanmar, the Chairman of Parliament, the Police Chief of the Myanmar Police Force, and the Chairperson of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to respect and promote the human rights of all people, including LGBT persons, to the right to assembly, expression, due process, equality, and non-discrimination before the law.
Source – IGLHRC