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The Burma Army must immediately release four women held as sex slaves near Kachi n-China border

The Kachin Women s Association Thailand (KWAT) is gravely concerned for the lives of four women being held as sex slaves at a frontline post near Loije at the Kachi n-China border, and calls for the Burma Army to immediately free them, and for f oreign envoys in Burma to demand their immediate release. According to porters who escaped on November 1 from Mu Bum mountain outpost, whe re about 50 troops from Light Infantry Battalion 321 are based, the four women w ere being made to clean and cook for the soldiers during the day, and were gangraped by them at night. The porters identified one of the women as Sumlut Roi Ja, aged 28, from the near by village of Hkai Bang. She was last seen by her husband and father-in-law on O ctober 28, when they were forced to carry corn to Mu Bum army post. The three ha d run away from the camp, but she had been too slow and was recaptured. On November 1, Sumlut Roi Ja s family members rma Army commander at the Loi Je military base, old them that she would be released on November at the foot of Mu Bum mountain and she did not met with Lt. Col. Zaw Myo Htut, the Bu and begged for her release. He t 2, but they waited the whole day appear.

A KWAT documentor reported seeing Sumlut Roi Ja through a zoom lens at the Mu B um camp from a nearby hilltop on October 31. The next day, on November 1, she wa s able to see a woman being dragged by four soldiers into a bunker at the camp, but could not clearly identify her. Since then, she has not been able to see any women at the camp. KWAT is gravely concerned at the fate of the four women and demands that the Bur ma Army immediately releases them. KWAT also urgently requests all foreign envoy s in Burma to call for their immediate unconditional release.

Silence about the Burma Army s blatant systematic sexual violence is placing the lives of all women and girls in the conflict zones at risk, said KWAT coordinator Moon Na y Li. The Burma Army has reinforced troops between Bhamo and Loije since mid-October, fuelling fears of an imminent offensive against the nearby KIA stronghold of Mai jayang, where thousands of displaced Kachin villagers are sheltering. Contact persons: Email: Moon Nay Li + 66 85- 6251- 912 /