7 years prison for Mon State acid attack culprit

By HTOO HTET | FRONTIER

YANGON — The victim of a horrific acid attack in Mon State has told Frontier she remains fearful for her safety, after her attacker was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for the crime on Friday.

The victim, 24, received permanent scarring to half of her face and lost the use of one eye and ear in the May 2016 assault by her former boyfriend Moe Min Thu, 25, in Thanbyuzayat.

She told Frontier she was unhappy with the sentence and would appeal for a harsher verdict, after 30 court appearance between Moe Min Thu’s arrest and Friday’s verdict.

“He has threatened me that I would pay for this when he gets out from prison,” she said. “I can’t go outside because of my wounds from the attack.”

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Troubles between the former couple started when Moe Min Thu wrote a Facebook post falsely claiming the pair were married. The victim’s mother asked him to explain himself which left the perpetrator disgruntled. Moe Min Thu then threw acid at the victim outside the Death Railway Museum, where she worked until the attack.

The victim required extensive surgery in Bangkok in the months after the attack which was funded by Akhaya Women, who also supported her during nine months of court proceedings.

“We are not satisfied about the fact that the perpetrator was sentenced with this punishment,” said a legal advisor to Akhaya Women, who requested anonymity following threats from Moe Min Thu.

“The victim is not also satisfied with the sentence. The perpetrator will get away for the crime he committed after seven years. However, the wounds of this woman won’t get recover … and we don’t know for sure how long or to what extent she needs more medical treatments.”

Akhaya Women last September organised a campaign against acid attacks in Myanmar, which called on the public to support victims of gender-based violence and the government to fast-track its proposed violence against women law.

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