Long jail terms for four family members who mistreated maids

A Yangon court has sentenced four members of the same family to lengthy prison terms over the horrific abuse of two maids, in a case that shocked the nation when it was exposed last year.

Daw Tin Thuzar and her daughter, Ma Su Mon Latt, were each sentenced to 16 years and one month in prison with hard labour, her son-in-law, Ko Yar Zar Tun, to 13 years and one month with hard labour, and her son, Ko Tin Min Latt, to nine years and one month, reports said.

Their sentences on charges including human trafficking, unlawful confinement and causing grievous bodily harm were handed down in the Western District court on December 15 after a trial lasting more than a year.

Lawyers said the four would appeal against the sentences.

Tin Thuzar’s husband, U Ko Latt, and another daughter, Ma Thiri Latt, faced similar charges but were acquitted.

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The six were charged after the abuse of the teenaged maids, Ma San Kay Khaing and Ma Thazin was exposed in September last year by independent news agency, Myanmar Now.

It said the girls had been cut with scissors, burnt with hot irons and cigarettes and had their fingers broken as punishment for workplace mistakes. It also revealed that the girls, who had begun working for the family in 2011 when San Kay Khaing was 12 and Thazin was 11, had not been paid since 2014.

Kyauktada police initially declined to investigate when told of the girls’ mistreatment and Myanmar Now alerted the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.

Outrage over the case intensified when it was revealed that the MNHCR had encouraged the victims to accept K5 million in compensation for unpaid wages instead of taking legal action, and four commissioners subsequently resigned.

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