By Naw Noreen
A man facing charges of severely torturing a child in Irrawaddy Division’s Henzada town has been sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday after a local court found him guilty of causing serious injury and unlawful detention of the child.
Sett Hmu Htay Win (also known as) Snow, was found guilty by Henzada township court of seriously injuring and detaining Soe Htet Aung (also known as) Htake Kwat, a nine-year-old orphaned child who worked as a waiter at You & Me teashop owned by a relative of Htay Win.
Htake Kwat was beaten up and severely tortured by Htay Win in late June when he was caught making an attempt to run away from his work place.
Images of the boy obtained by DVB show evidence of extensive burning; local sources say hot irons were applied to his stomach, back and thighs, and burning plastic poured on his forearm. He also claimed Htay Win had forced him to eat animal faeces and drink his urine.
Maung Maung Kyi Win, a government lawyer representing Htake Kwat in the trial, said Htay Win was initially sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in total; seven years for causing serious injury and one year under the unlawful detention charge.
However, township level courts in Burma could only pass a sentence at the maximum of 7 years, so the judge decided Htay Win to serve his terms concurrently.
“The court passed the maximum sentence within its jurisdiction– we can say it was a fair decision,” said Maung Maung Kyi Win.
“The defendant has the right to file an appeal at higher level court if he thinks the punishment was too harsh.”