Police in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region have charged one of four suspects for their involvement in an acid attack on a businesswoman last October, with the victim and her lawyer saying they did not understand why the other three were not charged, she told RFA on Wednesday.
Leh Leh Win, the 30-year-old victim who filed a criminal complaint on March 19 at Pantanaw Myoma Police Station, said she believes that the attack that occurred outside her central city home on Oct. 24 was carried out by two local residents with the assistance of two police officers.
RFA reported previously that she was hospitalized and underwent several rounds of surgery as medical personnel tried to keep her alive. Though she lost sight in her right eye, doctors were able to save her left eye.
In March, she told RFA that she believed one of her assailants to be a woman with whom she had quarreled on social media in October. She claimed that after the disagreement on Facebook, the woman came to her house and threatened her.
Leh Leh Win then told the police, but an officer said they could not arrest the other woman because she had connections with higher authorities.
The attack occurred three days later. In the complaint, the two civilians are accused of trespassing, obscenity, and criminal intimidation, while the two police officers were charged with criminal intimidation and aiding gambling.
The Pantanaw township court formally charged one of the four persons listed in the complaint Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear to either Leh Leh Win or her lawyer Si Thu Kyaw Min why only one of the four suspects was charged, she told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
“We filed charges against four people, but only Myint Myint Maw was charged under [article] 451 for trespassing, [article] 294 for obscenity, [article] 506 for criminal intimidation, and [article] 114 for abetting,” she said, referring to Myanmar’s penal code.
Leh Leh Win said they still aim to have all four included in the suit.
The court granted bail to Myint Myint Maw, set at 200,000 kyats (U.S. $142). RFA could not confirm if she was the woman with whom Leh Leh Win had an online spat with in October.
RFA tried to contact Leh Leh Win’s lawyer, but he did not respond.
Police were ordered to investigate the case by the Union parliament’s Legal Aid Committee on March 18, one day after Mann Thein Nyunt, Pantanaw’s representative in the lower house, became aware of the incident after viewing content on RFA’s website.
Acid attacks are unusual in Myanmar, although they occur occasionally in other South and Southeast Asian countries.
Reported by Thant Zin Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Khin Ei. Written in English by Eugene Whong.