Myanmar Military Converts Town Halls Into Torture Chambers Used on Ordinary Citizens…Warning…Not for the Faint of Heart

Poli Pix Co. LLC /
Poli Pix Co. LLC /

While people here in the U.S. have been known to yell “police abuse” because the cuffs pinched their delicate skin, they should be thankful they don’t live in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar. Myanmar doesn’t need cops. It uses its military to enforce the rule of law and it’s up to them how they choose to do it. And boy howdy, they get the job done.

A young guy and his buddy were riding their bikes home from wherever they had been when they were stopped by a group of soldiers for no apparent reason. They were dragged into an old town hall building the military had transformed into a torture chamber where they were interrogated for hours.

Each question they had no answer for resulted in severe blows to their heads. One of the young men had his skin twisted with a pair of pliers while another soldier continually kicked him in the chest, knocking every last breath out of him.

He recalls them saying in a jeering manner, “Your mom cannot save you anymore.” “There was no break – it was constant. I was thinking only of my mom,” he said.

Since Myanmar’s military takeover last February, the Tatmadaw as they are called, have detained over 9,000 citizens and killed more than 1,200 of them. Reports indicate how they are methodically and systematically working their way around the country, trying to get around to everyone.

Town halls and even a royal palace have been converted into what the Tatmadaw call “interrogation centers.” There are a dozen known centers spread around the country. These are in addition to the even greater number of buildings serving as prisons.

Some of the prisoners were locked up for protesting against military rule, while the greatest majority haven’t a clue why they’re there. The detainees range from 16-year-olds to the elderly, to monks and beggars, so there is no rhyme or reason. 

It’s important to note how the methods of torture have been consistent from facility to facility. This can only mean that the military has received special training and that their activity is endorsed and approved.

The other young bike rider who was pulled into the town hall was made to kneel on a bed of sharp rocks. He, then, had a gun shoved in his mouth as another soldier pressed a baton against his shinbones and rolled it up and down. They took his Nike flip-flops and beat him across his face with them.

He said they kept shouting for him to “Tell me! Tell me!” Confused, he kept pleading with them, “What do you want me to tell you?” Since he refused to give the soldiers the pleasure of hearing him scream, his friend still had enough strength left to scream on his behalf. Oddly, this was soothing music to the interrogators and they stopped.

The Tatmadaw has an impressive history of getting off on torture. They were called into action in 2010 when Myanmar citizens got the crazy notion of wanting to live in a democracy. The military put an end to the nonsense by using the exact techniques they’re using now.

Some of the Tatmadaw’s favorite tortures include sleep deprivation, starvation, the ever-classic electric shock treatment, making people hop around like frogs, and the chart-topper, beating detainees with cement-filled bamboo sticks, their own shoes, or in a pinch, their fists.

Here’s the really sad part. The military is well aware of the people they’re holding and torturing not knowing anything about anything. It’s to spread the word that they won’t take any crap out of insolent citizens who dare cross their path. Their victims are randomly selected. Fear works every time.

So next time you get pulled over for a traffic ticket, be sure to thank the nice officer for their kindness and go on your way. You could be living in Myanmar.