The #EndSexualViolence campaign Kicks Off In Myanmar As Aung San Suu Kyi Goes To Trial
On Monday June 14, the trial of Myanmar's elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi got underway, more than four months after the Tatmadaw's fascist coup. So-called witnesses provided by the Tatmadaw junta testified against Suu Kyi and claimed she broke coronavirus restrictions and illegally imported walkie-talkies.
Journalists are barred from attending proceedings in the junta's kangaroos court set up in the capital Naypyidaw. According to witnesses, the courthouse is surrounded by armed Tatmadaw forces in military and police uniforms, ready to attack any possible protestors. Suu Kyi's lawyers have also been banned from meeting her until recently, they say that the sham trial is expected to wrap up by July 26. A separate trial will also start Tuesday over sedition charges filed against the ousted president Win Myint, another senior member of the NLD, Suu Kyi. If convicted they all face from 10 years to life in prison.
Civilians nationwide are currently engaged in a mass uprising to restore democracy. The vast majority have been peaceful and have held massive marches and protests daily and nightly, despite facing the risk of violent and deadly force. The junta steadly kept a terror campaign against protestors – shooting protesters, arresting suspected dissidents in night raids, targeting journalists, cutting off the internet, and shutting down news outlets.
On Monday, June 14, protestors launched the #EndSexualViolence campaign to highlight attention against the junta's use of rape and sexual assault on women, especially detainees. In Myanmar women, detainees are reported to experience sexual violence, torture, rape, and dehumanizing conditions in Myanmar prisons. In some cases, women have been beaten by authorities and kicked repeatedly on their sensitive body parts. Hundreds of women also report being sent to Insein prison, typically an all-male facility. Women experiencing menstruation were especially targeted. The women there only had access to two toilets with no water and no doors. Prison guards repeatedly denied requests for sanitary pads and often left women to sit in their blood for days.
Protestors participating in pro-democracy protests and the #EndSexualViolence campaign bravely marched, sang, and fought for democracy, human rights, and dignity.