Raped by Myanmar Forces: Rohingya women recount nightmare
12:00 AM, December 12, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:44 AM, December 12, 2017

Nightmare in Rakhine

Rohingya women raped by Myanmar forces recount horrible experiences

The use of rape by Myanmar's armed forces has been sweeping and methodical, The Associated Press found in interviews with Rohingya women and girls now in Bangladesh.

Here are the accounts as told by 21 women and girls. They agreed to be identified in this story by their first initial only.

SHE IS ONLY 13

She is only 13, but R had already learned to fear the military men.

One day in late August, 10 soldiers barged into R's house. They snatched her two little brothers, tied them to a tree and beat them.

R tried to run out the front door, but the men caught her. They tethered her arms to two trees. All ten men forced themselves on her before she passed out.

RAPED TWICE

F and her husband were asleep at home in June when seven soldiers charged into their bedroom. The men bound her husband with rope and gagged him with a scarf they ripped from F's head.

They yanked off F's jewellery and stripped off her clothes. They threw her to the floor, where the first soldier began to rape her.

In September, her nightmare began again. F was asleep at a neighbour's house when five soldiers broke down the door. The soldiers slashed the throat of the 5-year-old boy who lived there and killed his father. They stripped off the women's clothes. Two men raped F, and three men raped her friend.

SHE COULDN'T RUN

K and her family were settling down to breakfast one morning in late August when they heard the screams of other villagers outside. Her husband and three oldest children bolted out the door.

But K was nearly 9 months pregnant and had two toddlers to watch.

The men barged in, threw her on the bed. They ripped off her clothes and tied down her hands and legs with rope. When she resisted, they choked her. And then they began to rape her.

I WAS IN IMMENSE PAIN

R was at home in late August with her husband and five of her six children when she heard a commotion outside. She saw houses going up in flames in her village.

Her husband ran out, but she had the children to take care of. Five soldiers barged into the house. Her children screamed and ran outside.

The men stripped off her clothes, took her necklace and kicked her in her back with their knees. Then one of the men began to rape her, while the other four held her down and hit her with their guns.

"I was in immense pain," she says.

THEY HIT HER UNTIL SHE FELL

A was at home praying with her four children in late August when about 50 soldiers surrounded her village and opened fire on the men.

Three men burst into her house and told her to get out. She refused. They beat her. Her children screamed. The soldiers slapped them, then threw them out of the house.

Two of the soldiers hit her until she fell. One pressed his boot against her chest, pinning her down. Then all three raped her.

THE BABY GIRL WAS DEAD

M was at home feeding her son rice in late August when a bullet from the military blasted through the bamboo wall of her house and struck her teenage brother.

Her husband and children ran out of the house. But M was 8 months pregnant, and did not want to leave her brother behind. For two days, she stayed by his side, until he died.

Soon after, four soldiers charged into her house.

They dragged her outside the house, stripped her and beat her. The first man began to rape her, while the other two held her down and punched and kicked her pregnant belly.

After the second rape, she kicked them so ferociously, they finally left.

M felt intense cramping in her belly. She gave birth that night at home. The baby girl was dead. M buried the infant in an unmarked grave by her house.

CHILDREN REFUSED TO LEAVE HER SIDE

H was reciting the sunrise prayer at home in late August with her husband and six children. A dozen soldiers burst through her door and started beating her husband. They grabbed three of her children by their feet, carried them outside and bashed them against trees, killing them.

Her husband screamed, and H ran out of the house. As she fled, she heard gunshots behind her. She never saw her husband again.

She made it with her three other children to the nearby hills, where other women from her village were hiding. But soldiers descended upon the women and dragged them away to rape them.

Her crying children refused to leave her side during the assault. The soldiers slapped them, kicked them, tried to shove them away. They refused to budge.

When the soldiers finished, her 8-year-old daughter tried to cover her naked body with her torn clothing.

BABIES WENT UP IN FLAMES

When seven soldiers stormed into the house in October 2016, S's husband fled. The soldiers began beating her parents.

A soldier beat S with his gun, ripped two of her babies from her arms and dropped them on the floor. Two soldiers took S to a field. They held her down and raped her.

When it was over, she hid in the hills but eventually returned home.

In August, S was at home with her family when the military began firing rocket launchers at houses, setting them ablaze. Her husband and two eldest children fled, but she stayed behind to pack up her baby girls and a few belongings. One baby was in a swing, the other sleeping on the floor.

A rocket launcher hit the house. The babies went up in flames before her eyes.

ALL THREE RAPED HER

The military surrounded N's village one early morning in late August. Around 18 soldiers stormed her house, and dragged N outside with her sister-in-law and mother-in-law.

The women were taken to the centre of the village. Three men then took her to the hills and stripped her naked. Two men held down her hands while a third raped her. Then they switched positions. All three raped her.

THEY SLASHED HER HUSBAND'S NECK

There was no warning before five soldiers suddenly stormed into 16-year-old S's house one morning in early August. They slashed her husband's neck, killing him.

Two soldiers pulled her into a room, snatched her 3-month-old son from her arms and put him on the floor. They searched her clothes for valuables and took her earrings. Another three men came in and began to beat her with guns while the others stripped off her clothes.

One soldier held down her hands, and another put his gun in her mouth. All five men raped her.

SHE NEVER SAW HER SON AGAIN

The soldiers had been harassing T's family for days: Showing up and stealing their food, urinating in their rice, hitting T and, once, stripping off her clothes.

And then one morning in mid-August, five men dragged her husband out of the house, where they slashed his neck. They grabbed her 10-year-old son and dragged him outside; she never saw him again. Her 12-year-old daughter managed to flee.

The soldiers pinned her to the floor. Two men held her while the first man raped her. Then they switched.

CLEARLY BEEN RAPED

N's husband was walking down a road in late August when several villagers saw soldiers grab him and drag him into the hills. Later that day, children in the hills came upon his head, along with several other corpses. Soldiers were milling around near the bodies.

N stayed in her house with her 8-year-old daughter for the next few days, unable to stop crying. Then suddenly, around 80 soldiers descended on the village. Five soldiers came to her door and shouted: "Who's inside?"

The men barged in.

They ripped her clothes off and beat her in the head with a gun until she blacked out. When she awoke, her vagina was swollen, bleeding and covered in sores. She had clearly been raped; by how many men, she does not know.

SHE BLED FOR SIX DAYS

N, 17, was at home with her parents and siblings in late August when she heard the crackle of gunfire. Suddenly, 10 men burst into the house.

Five men then took turns raping her, while the others helped hold her down. Her parents were forced to watch. When they screamed, the soldiers beat them. Eventually, they stood in silence as their daughter was assaulted.

After the men left, N's parents untied her and washed her. She bled for six days.

THEY LAUGHED AT HER

Around 100 soldiers surrounded A's village one afternoon in late August. A's husband fled, leaving her alone in the house with their 2-year-old son.

Two soldiers came into her house. They tore off her clothes. She wept and begged them to stop. Then they shoved her to the ground, laughing at her.

One soldier pressed his knife to her right hip and cut into her flesh. Both of them punched her in the face. The men then took turns raping her.

TEARING HER FLESH WITH THEIR TEETH

M was at home with her husband, her sister-in-law and her sister-in-law's brother in late August when security forces stormed their village. The husbands fled, leaving M alone in the house with her sister-in-law, who was in the shower.

Three men kicked the door open. They tied M's arms behind her back.

They dragged her sister-in-law out of the shower. They bit her face and body, tearing her flesh with their teeth. All three men raped her.

One of the men came over to M, stripped her clothes off and took her earrings and then raped her.

SHE STIFLED HER SCREAMS

D was at home one evening in late August when she heard noise outside. Her two older sons and husband rushed out of the house, leaving her alone with her 3-year-old boy. Three men entered her home. She screamed and her son began to cry.

One man restrained her arms and held a knife to her hip while the other two men raped her. She feared the men would kill her, so she stifled her screams.

IT WAS NEVER-ENDING

It was late August and K was around four months pregnant when soldiers swarmed her village.

Four men smashed the door open, tied up her husband and began beating and kicking the couple's children. They kicked K's 3-year-old daughter in the head so hard that she died of her injuries three days later.

They tied her up and began to rape her, one after the other. The men kicked her so viciously, she feared the baby inside her would die. "It was never-ending," she says now.

SHE FEARED HER BABY WAS DYING

S was pregnant and at home with her family in late August when 20 soldiers surrounded her village. All the men in the area fled, including her husband. Four soldiers burst into the house, grabbed her two crying toddlers and beat them.

They ripped her clothes off, and threw her to the floor. One man held her left arm, one held her right arm and one held down her legs, while the fourth man raped her. Then they switched.

They kicked and punched her so hard, she feared the baby inside her was dying. Finally, they left.

IT LASTED FOR HOURS

It was mid-afternoon one day in late August when about 10 men in camouflage uniforms entered M's house. Her three children began to scream and cry. Five men took her husband away, and four forced her out of the house and into the nearby hills.

One of the men held a gun to her. They bit her face and her body and hit her. They tied her mouth with her own headscarf. And then three of the men held her down while the other man raped her. The attack lasted for hours.

TEN MEN RAPED HER

F was at home in late August when she heard screaming outside. Her husband went to investigate and saw that about 300 soldiers and Buddhist villagers had surrounded the area.

About eight soldiers and villagers grabbed F's husband and tied his hands behind his back. Around 100 men took F, her mother and about 20 other women to another village. The soldiers beat them with guns, kicking and slapping them.

Once they reached the next village, the women were forced to lie down on the ground next to each other. The men tied their wrists together with rope and began to rape them.

Ten men raped F.

SHE WAS IN AGONY

S was lying in bed with her husband and son after dinner in late August when around 10 soldiers burst into the house. A few took her husband outside. Five stayed behind, and one pointed his gun at her.

She tried to run, but they grabbed her and kicked her back, stomach and chest. They stripped off her clothes and took her necklace and earrings. Three men raped her.

S was in agony. After the men were finished, they took her outside, naked. Her son followed them. About two dozen other women, also naked, had been dragged outside as well.

The soldiers forced the women to march toward a rice paddy, beating and kicking them as they walked. S felt blood running down her legs. Once they arrived, the men ordered them to lie down. S fought back and soldiers kicked her. She fell to the ground.

Three more soldiers began to rape her. (Abridged)

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