Police Accept Criminal Complaint in Acid Attack Case in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Region

Myanmar police have accepted a criminal complaint by a businesswoman who was the victim of an acid attack in Ayeyarwady region, five months after she reported the assault that severely burned her face and caused her to lose sight in one eye, she told RFA on Friday.

Leh Leh Win, the 30-year-old victim who filed the complaint on March 19 in Yangon’s Pantanaw Township Police Station, said she believes that the vicious attack that occurred outside her downtown home on Oct. 24 was carried out by two local residents with the assistance of two police officers.

“The head of the township police station said cases against two suspected policemen and the two civilians would be filed separately, but I didn’t agree to it,” she told RFA’s Myanmar Service, without elaborating on how the officers were involved in the crime.

“I insisted that they file a single case against all four people, and they finally did it,” she said, adding that charges related to inflicting bodily harm and trespassing were filed under four sections of Myanmar’s Penal Code.

The township’s Social Services Department helped Leh Leh Win file the charges, she said.

She also received a response to a letter about the attack that she had sent to the President’s Office, saying that her correspondence had been received on Jan. 21 and that office personnel would do whatever necessary to ensure justice.

The letter from the President’s Office was dated March 5, and Leh Leh Win said she received it on Tuesday.

“I believe there will be justice if the police do their job well and transfer the case to a judicial officer, and the court handles it in a timely manner,” she said

“I asked a judge to try my case quickly, and he said he would do it as soon as possible because he was very sad to see what had happened to my face,” she added.

Mann Thein Nyunt, a lower house lawmaker from Pantanaw Township, said his staff took action on the matter after they saw RFA’s initial report about the attack.

“After we saw it on RFA, we sent a letter to the Union parliament’s Legal Aid Committee on March 17,” he said. “We are waiting for a response.”

He also said that when he returns to the township during the next break in parliamentary sessions he will ask the police about Leh Leh Win’s case.

“I think there will be some news because I heard that the case already has been sent to the Criminal Investigation Department,” he said.

RFA was unable to reach Police Colonel Htay Aung, head of Pantanaw Township Police Station, for comment.

Assailants on motorcycle

Leh Leh Win was standing outside her downtown house talking to a female acquaintance on the night of the attack when two people on a motorcycle pulled up and doused her face with acid.

She was hospitalized and underwent several rounds of surgery as medical personnel tried to keep her alive. Though she lost sight in her right eye, doctors were able to save her left eye.

In an earlier report, Leh Leh Win told RFA that she believed one of her assailants to be a woman with whom she had quarreled on social media.

Leh Leh Win, who said local media outlets were unwilling to report her story unless she paid them, noted that some individuals do not like her because she sometimes lends money to people with interest.

Acid attacks are unusual in Myanmar, although they occur occasionally in other South and Southeast Asian countries.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Posted in Legal March 20, 2020