Update on atrocities against Rohingya in Rakhine state, Myanmar

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Graphic: BBC

The Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign has compiled the following updates on the desperate situation of the Rohingya.

You will be aware that the situation in Rakhine state in Myanmar has seen little improvement, despite at last some murmurings from the Asean and international community that the atrocities are happening and must stop.

The murder, rape, torture, violence, burnings, lootings, and forced evictions of Rohingya are continuing. These are crimes against humanity and yet somehow they are allowed to continue.

This is a call to every single one of us to exert whatever pressure we have at our disposal to bring a halt to the military rampaging and to the terror and displacement faced by the Rohingya women, men and children over nearly two months now. This is of course the latest chapter in what has been ongoing oppression and deprivation for many decades.

The fact that the area is still closed to outsiders tells us everything. The military and the government of Myanmar are unwilling to be called to account and are quite happy to deprive the displaced Rohingya population of any humanitarian help or assessment. There is every possibility that malnutrition and disease will claim many more lives, that many more Rohingya are likely to die because of this.

Please, please do whatever you possibly can.

Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign
3 December 2016

The most recent updates:

30 November

On the night of 30 November, a Burmese army gunboat opened fire at five Rohingya boats which were trying to flee from the violence in Maungdaw. This was at the Min Galar Gyi river mouth. One boat capsised, killing 10 people aboard. Three boats with 40 people were captured and are detained at the Maungdaw POE BGP Camp, while one boat managed to flee to Bangladesh.

READ MORE:  Lawatan ke komuniti Rohingya di Tanjong Piandang, Perak

We are told that some recently arrested Rohingyas have been moved from Buthidaung jail to a jungle area ahead of Kofi Annan visit today. Some have been moved to Sittwe jail.

It is reported that since 26 November, some Burmese troops have been being extra nice to some #Rohingya villagers, whose homes had been burnt down, in northern Maungdaw. The troops are asking the displaced Rohingyas to resume their daily activities and return to their places and make tents over their places instead of living outside in the field.

The locals are highly suspicious of the sudden changes in the behaviour of the military. Is it a trap to arrest more Rohingya men or because of Kofi Annan visit?

We have received an audio message which is a detailed report of Burmese military brutality from Shorogozibil village (Dar Dyi Zar).

The Burmese troops arrested three Rohingya youths, the sons of Zahir Ahmed, during raids on the Mistullah section of MaungNama village at around 2pm on 30 Novembe. The troops forced the youths to holds swords of the Natala Rakhine Buddhists that came along with the troops from the nearby AungMinGalar hamlet and took the photos of the youths (honouring swords).

In the evening, U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, the administrator of MaungNama village, told the villagers that “I can’t protect you from the army during the raids at night” and asked them to leave their homes.

Fearing atrocities and rape by the army, the villagers have left the village. There is no Rohingya in the village at the moment (at 9pm on 30 November). Now, the Natala Rakhines are plundering the Rohingya homes; and carrying away their livestocks and properties.

READ MORE:  End violent threats and anti-Rohingya campaign

1 December

It is reported that the Burmese military are holding hundreds of Rohingya women hostages at Myawdaung village in northern Maungdaw. The hostages including children are currently confined without food and there are reports of torture. The troops have put a condition to the women either to call their men and make them surrender or to continue to suffer for an indefinite time.

“Around 600 Burmese troops in three groups raided Saali Farang (Myawdaung) village yesterday morning. Screaming voices of the women are being heard from far. We fear molestations or rapes of the women but we can’t confirm about it as we are on the run”, said a Rohingya man from Myawdaung in a telephone conversation.

We have reports that Burmese troops arbitrarily arrested 14 Rohingya civilians at PhaWatChaung (Faw Hali) and are (allegedly) torturing them in the village’s school.

2 December

There are reports that the authorities are threatening Rohingya in anticipation of a visit by Kofi Anna.

We have reports that on the afternoon of 2 December, Maungdaw District and Township Administration Officials, Border Guard Police and persons from the police came in ten cars to Dar Gyi Zar village, in northern Maungdaw. The people there are now living in temporary huts.

The authorities called them together and told them to tell Kofi Annan that their houses were burnt down by terrorists and that the huts that they are living in currently were built by the authorities and that they are not persecuted. The authorities allegedly threatened that they would arrest and torture them if any other information was given to Kofi Annan, who is possibly visiting the area on 3 or 4 December.

READ MORE:  Plight of the dispossesed Rohingya

It is reported that the authorities tried to take fingerprints from the women who are living in the village. We are told that the authorities also went to Yay Khae Chaung Khwa Sone and Thu Oo Lar villages and did the same there.

Reports from a variety of sources in Rakhine state
compiled by Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign
November/December 2016

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