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Appendix 03: A Young Woman’s Story
Monday, January 01, 1900

a young Burmese widow with two children

On March 20, 2002 five soldiers came to my house in Burma looking for my husband. Without any explanation, they handcuffed him while others searched the house. I shouted to my husband but was told not to make any noise. A soldier pushed me down and hit me with the butt of his gun. Then he handcuffed me and put me in the car. I was taken to a military camp. I did not see my husband alive again.

At the camp, I was taken to a small, dark room where soldiers began interrogating me about my husband's alleged involvement with a rebel group. When I could not give them information, they beat, slapped, punched, and kicked me. Eventually I lost consciousness. I was released only when I signed an agreement not to leave the area without permission and not to accept guests into my home.

When I returned home, soldiers came to inform me that my husband was in the hospital. When I got there, he was already dead. They told me he had died from sickness but his face was completely black. Afterwards soldiers came nightly to my house to terrorize my family, threatening me with imprisonment if they found any visitors in my home. I could not continue to live in fear so I fled to some relatives who advised me to go to Malaysia.

In Malaysia I eventually got a job in a restaurant. Late hours required that I take a taxi home. One night I realized that the driver was not taking me home. He stopped at an area where two other people stood under a grove of trees. They grabbed me, kicked and slapped me and then raped me. Since that time I have often been threatened with arrest for being in Malaysia illegally and forced to pay bribes.