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KNU responds to video showing soldiers abusing ‘hooligans’

A screen capture from a video circulating on the Internet shows a man in KNU uniform about to kicked a handcuffed youth.

The Karen National Union (KNU) has vowed to investigate the alleged abuse of young men in Tenasserim Division caught on a video that is circulating online.

The video, which has attracted criticism on social media, showed KNU troops in uniform beating and kicking a group of young men tied up on the ground.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the KNU claimed the youths were drug-addicted hooligans who had been sent to the armed group by their communities to be guided back on to the right path, but admitted that it was wrong to subject them to physical punishment, which it said was against the group’s guidelines.

The statement did not explain why the youths were beaten up by the KNU soldiers but vowed to investigate the matter and take necessary action against the wrongdoers and to prevent this from happening again.

In the 3-minute, 38-second-long video, a group of around 10 KNU soldiers is seen kicking and shouting at the tied-up youths. One of the soldiers was also seen beating them with a bamboo stick.

According to unconfirmed rumours on social media, the youths were detained by the KNU for brawling at a local music concert.