|Published : 16 Sep 2016, 20:12:06|
Myanmar soldiers jailed for village murders
Myanmar has sentenced a group of soldiers to five years of hard labour for the murders of five villagers.
The seven soldiers - four of them officers - confessed to the killings after the men's bodies were found with knife wounds in a shallow grave.
They had been among a group rounded up by soldiers in June, suspected of helping rebel militia in eastern Shan state.
The case is a rare example of a military prosecution in Myanmar.
The sentences were handed down in a military court on Thursday.
Activist Sai Kaung Kham, who helped the families of the ethnic minority men in Mong Yaw village demand justice for the killings, said he was surprised the military had taken any action at all.
"The fact they have been sentenced to imprisonment is better than nothing," he told Reuters.
However, the military has not accepted responsibility for the deaths of two other men killed fleeing the village on a motorcycle.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was run by a military junta until 2011, according to a news agency.