Honest Information (HI)
“I want justice. If I give up, some people will think that it is easy to get rape to the women and they will do the same to others,” said Nan Phyu, a 33 years old Pa-O ethnic lady (Not her real name)
The incident was happened on 2020 November 29th, at Taunggyi Quarantine Center. During the spread out of the covid-19 pandemic in Thailand, Nan Phyu decided to go back to her hometown. Nan Phyu had to stay at the Quarantine center before she back to her village and the case happened on the first night.
It is turned into five months from November and 10 times of appointment was made but no investigation or hearing happened. The lady came to every single appointment but sometimes the lawyer did not come, or the judge was not there.
She realized the case will be a long process and difficult but she had strongly determined not to give up for herself and for other women who face like her.
Heading to the court from her village is not that easy for her. She has to find out money to rent a motorbike to go to court every single time.
She is working as daily labor and she earned 4,000 kyats per day (about 2.83 USD). “When I have the court appointment, I wake up at 4:00 am to prepare to go the court with my husband. On that day we can’t go to work, so we lost our income,” she added.
On that day of rape happened she was terrified and giving money to that perpetrator man and begging not to rape her. She did not save much money; she only came back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ma Nan Phyu’s lawyer said, “There is no judgment for this case because of Covid-19 and the current political situation.”
Since the coup, some Judges (judicial officer) was arrested as they joined CDM, and on the other hand, some political associate cases need to do hearing and they pay more attention than any other case. Her case is taking longer than in a normal situation of court adjustment.
When they go to court, sometimes it costs more than 10,000 kyats for transportation and food on the way as they have to drive about one hour from the village to there. This made her more burdens with financial difficulty. But, she strongly decided to keep going to find justice as she hopes there will be justice for her.
Aside from Financial, the current political situation made her more difficult and put more barriers. On the way from the village heading to Taunggyi, the military checks the name of whoever comes through and they have to pass at least two checkpoints to get to the court. This made her feel insecure and worried as she and her husband can get arrested.
“I am afraid of soldiers because they have guns but I am more afraid to lose justice,” Nan Phyu said.
Sometimes depression comes to her because most of the court appointments are canceled and she did not know ahead until she arrived at the court. She even thought it was her mistake to inform the case. She cannot stop thinking of money is more important than Justice.
“We even though whether we go back to Thailand to find a job and we should not care about justice” she added.
She had thought the proceeding process would not get this long as the perpetrator is arrested and detained. But in the reality, it has not happened in that way.
Her lawyer said, “The plaintiff will be disappointed in this political situation because she is a woman who does not like to make any complaint to others.”
The local women’s organization supported the cost of lawyers, living things and did regular visits to her to show their support. This made Nan Phyu gain strengthens of herself to move forward for finding justice.
But no one knows how long it will take to get justice in her case and even she alone is getting worried as it is little hope.
One of the Pa-O women Union‘s spoke person said “That civil case is taking too long and is not working at this time.”
“I want him (the perpetrator) to go to the jail for long life of punishment and wish anyone will not get raped like me” said, Nan Phyu.