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Three death sentences given in rape-murder of Rakhine woman


New Delhi (Mizzima) – A Burmese court on Monday convicted three men in the rape, robbery and murder of Thida Htwe on May 28, and gave each the death sentence. The young woman’s murder led to revenge murders by rioting mobs in Rakhine State during the following weeks.

A woman in Rangoon reads a story in a Burmese journal about  the arrest of three men in the rape, robbery and murder of Thida Htwe in Arakan State. Photo: Ye Min / MizzimaThe men were identified as Rawphi, Khochi and Htet Htet. The authorities said that Htet Htet committed suicide on June 9 in Kyaukphyu Prison, where the other two men are being held. All of the men are Muslims.
 
The first hearing of the case was conducted on June 8 at the Kyaukphyu District Court.
 
The convicted men can file an appeal against the verdict within seven days, Ba Shein, a Member of Parliament, told Mizzima,

“For the death sentence, the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw must approve the death sentence within seven days. And the convicted men can file an appeal within seven day if the Supreme Court confirms the death sentence,”he said.
 
More than 30 people attended the hearing.
 
Thida Htwe, 26, was a resident of Thabyaychaung village in Ramee Township, Arakan State.  
 
The sectarian rioting that followed has claimed at least 50 lives and more than 2,000 homes have been burned. Thirty thousand refugees have fled their homes to seek shelter and protection in government camps.

The region was placed under a state of emergency on June 10, and the military has taken over the administrative control of Arakan State.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 June 2012 13:10 )  

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