News / Asia

Burmese Muslim Given Controversial Jail Term for Rape of Buddhist Woman

A woman and children clear debris of a burnt-down building in Htan Gone village of Kantbalu township, Sagaing Division, Burma, Aug. 26, 2013. A woman and children clear debris of a burnt-down building in Htan Gone village of Kantbalu township, Sagaing Division, Burma, Aug. 26, 2013.
x
A woman and children clear debris of a burnt-down building in Htan Gone village of Kantbalu township, Sagaing Division, Burma, Aug. 26, 2013.
A woman and children clear debris of a burnt-down building in Htan Gone village of Kantbalu township, Sagaing Division, Burma, Aug. 26, 2013.
VOA News
A court in Burma has handed down a controversial seven-year prison sentence to a Muslim teenager for the attempted rape and assault of a Buddhist woman, which sparked an anti-Muslim riot.

A court official in the northwestern town of Kantbalu in Sagaing Division said San Min Oo was convicted after a speedy trial in which he confessed to the crime. His lack of a defense attorney at his trial, however, is being criticized.

Burmese legal expert Robert San Aung said the sentence of five years for rape and two years for assault were improperly combined. He said once the defendant was charged with attempted rape, the assault charge should have been dropped.

"Imprisonment with separate charges of [these] criminal acts is not consistent [since] the rape attempt is already charged, [the charged of] physical force should not be applied," said San Aung.

Violence broke out August 24 after a mob surrounded a local police station demanding the suspect be turned over to the crowd. When he was not, the crowd rampaged through a Muslim area of town, burning shops and homes.

Tensions have been high between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims since last year's widespread violence that killed more than 200 and pushed tens of thousands from their homes.

That violence initially was sparked by the alleged rape of a Buddhist woman by Muslim men, followed by the retaliatory killings of 10 Muslims by a Buddhist mob.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bill from: Yangon
September 05, 2013 10:19 PM
Please try to limit the liberal "pc" speeches. After the accused has confessed, been convicted and sentenced, it is no longer necessary or proper to refer to him as the "alleged" attacker. And in my opinion 5 years for rape is not severe enough. Finally, if there was also additional assault (physical contact of a violent nature) either prior too or after the rape, then assault charges are proper and correct. Please try to present a fair and balanced approach to your articles. BTW for the record I am neither Buddhist or Muslim.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid