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June 28, 2017

An elderly man has received critical injuries following an attack by neighbouring Rakhine villagers in Pauktaw on Saturday, according to local sources.

The victim, Abdul Karim in his 60s from SakeyPyin TaungYowa had lost his cow. At one point of his search, he came upon a Rakhine farmer and he politely enquired if anyone had seen his cow. But instead of helping him, the farmer, along with a young man brought a knife and attacked the elderly man.

Hearing his cries, local Muslims rushed to the spot causing the attackers to flee the scene, thus saving Abdul Karim.

However, a tensed situation is prevailing in the area as Pauktaw has an overwhelming Rakhine majority with strong support for anti Muslim nationalist groups. There are fears that in the current volatile atmosphere, the Tatmadaw and their Buddhist nationalist cohorts might cash in on the situation and incite the Rakhines to carry out a 2012 style massacre. 

taimru

June 28, 2017

Maungdaw- A Rakhine gang accompanied by the army and BGP have been patrolling around the village of Taung Pyo in Northern Maungdaw since the dawn hours of Tuesday, according to our correspondent in the area.

The gang is carrying sharp weapons including machetes and other tools that have traditionally been used by Buddhist nationalist forces. They are being well protected by a huge army and BGP detachment.

Their activities have led to terror among the local populace who are fearing a massacre in the tensed locality.

Tensions have reached a high since an army backed gang attacked the nearby village tract of Kya Maung following Eid prayers, leading to possible fatalities.

There are rumours that Buddhist nationalists and the Tatmadaw are planning a 2012 style massacre. 

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June 28, 2017

Maungdaw- At least five more Rohingyas went ‘missing’ as Rakhine gangsters backed by security forces launched a renewed attack on the hamlet of Shil Khali Phuk Para in Kya Maung, Northern Maungdaw on Tuesday, according to our local correspondent.

At around 8 am, the gang carrying sharp weapons accompanied by a huge detachment of Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein personal descended on the hamlet and tried to attack the Rohingyas. Sensing their presence, Rohingyas who were on alert following Eid day attacks in the village ran away towards the hills. The escapees also included many young women who feared being raped by the attackers.

As the Rohingyas fled, the miscreants entered their homes, vandalising and looting Muslim property.

The gang first attacked Kya Maung’s Botali para hamlet following Eid-ul- Fitr prayers on Monday. Fatalities have been reported but our correspondent says it is not possible to confirm incidents of deaths amid the confusion following the attack.

Similarly, it is not possible to verify if the missing persons have been killed or have been separated from the rest of the villagers, all of them on the run.

Most of the hamlets in Kya Maung have a heavy military presence at this moment. 

 

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June 27, 2017

Maungdaw- Another Rohingya man has been tortured to death in custody amid growing fears for those arrested from Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships in the last days of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Md Omar Sadek (s/o Nazir Ahmed), a religious scholar in his 30s was arrested by the BGP from Bay Gone Nah shortly after Eid prayers on Monday when he was visiting a local stall, according to our correspondent in the area.

On Tuesday morning, BGP came to his home and forced his family to sign a ‘confessional’ statement saying Sadek was suffering from multiple health problems and had died as a result of natural causes.

However, locals say Sadek was around 33 to 35 years old with no serious health conditions. He was arrested on Monday morning and probably died on the same night, according to multiple sources.

Sadek was being beaten publicly from the moment he was being arrested, multiple eyewitnesses have told our correspondent.

The death occurred in a short period possibly in a period of less than 24 hours. Custodial torture of Muslims is a common practise resulting in the deaths and permanent disabilities of hundreds since the riots of 2012.

Meanwhile, another man was arrested from the same village earlier. Family members have not heard from the prisoner Md Toyub (s/o Md Nazir) since his arrest.

Many Rohingyas have been arrested and attacked after they attended the special prayers of Eid-ul-Fitr which marks one of the biggest festivals of the Muslim religion following the end of Ramadan. Particularly gruesome has been the attack on Kya Maung in Northern Maungdaw by an army backed Rakhine gang.

Arrests were also made on the last days of Ramadan which are considered very holy by the Muslims.

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June 27, 2017

Maungdaw- A religious scholar from Nga Khura, Northern Maungdaw has been taken away from his home in the dawn hours of Eid-ul-Fitr (Monday), according to our correspondent in the area.

At around 6am, the BGP came to the house of Md Idris and arrested him under allegations he was linked to Muslim rebels.

Multiple sources say Idris is facing intense torture in the local BGP camp.

Custodial torture has resulted in the deaths and permanent paralysing injuries of hundreds of Muslims since 2012.

Nga Khura has remained tense since October last year when army led forces targeted the village resulting in the arrest and torture of many.

Many prisoners arrested from all parts of Northern Maungdaw are taken to the Nga Khura camp from where they have not returned. 

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June 25, 2017

Buthidaung-  Scores of Rohingyas, including at least 15 women have been arrested from Sain Dee Prang in Buthidaung as Tatmadaw officials declared that they would be starting ‘clearance operations’, as men and women in the village were taking militant training.

The first round of arrests occurred on the morning hours of Thursday, according to our local correspondent.

One source said that the military packed Rohingya men like ‘cattle’ in two huge trucks and took them to the local camp where they are facing brutal torture.

The same source said around 15 to 20 women were also arrested as they were also taking ‘militant training’. The women have not been taken to the local camp where the men are facing torture, but to another undisclosed location.

Unconfirmed reports say they might have been taken to Buthidaung town.

Since Thursday, thousands of locals have fled their homes as the army continue combing operations in the village which has more than 6000 inhabitants.

At least seven were arrested from the area on Sunday, according to our correspondent.

Activists have long alleged that many arrested by the Tatmadaw face brutal torture which include smashing of body parts with the intention of making the prisoner permanently disabled and other medival torture techniques. Many have died from torture, especially since the riots of 2012.

There are also allegations that many women, especially those arrested during the recent Northern Maungdaw operations are serving as sex slaves for the Tatmadaw.

As a result of the intensity of the operations, many are thinking of going into the wilderness to escape arrest, torture and possible death. 

Buthi terror 

June 21, 2017

Buthidaung- Fresh violence broke out in the restive village tract of Ta Mi after BGP brutally assaulted a respected community elder and fired at least 20 rounds of blank shots at Rohingyas who gathered at the scene to protest the incident on Sunday, according to our local correspondent.

The BGP personal entered the house of Imam Hossain and started brutally assaulting him. As his shouts filled the neighbourhood, many locals gathered at the scene to protest the incident.

At this time, the BGP personal took aggressive positions and pointed their guns at the crowd. Then they began firing over their heads, forcing the crowd to scatter.

The BGP then left the scene saying Imam Hossain and his entire family would be killed unless they paid 5million kyats.

Ta Mi has been tense in the last few months after reports that rebel forces were operating in the nearby hills. Operations have resulted in the arrests and brutal tortures of scores of Rohingya Muslims, according to local sources.

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June 27, 2017

Buthidaung- A boy was seriously injured in an assault by a Chakma gangster in Na Kaing Taun, Buthidaung on Sunday, according to our local correspondent.

At around 5.40pm, the Chakma man came to the store of Md Hossain and said he wanted goods on credit. He also started insulting Hossain in foul language. Hossain tried to avoid the confrontation saying he had to close the shop for prayer. At this point, the man fell on the boy and started beating him up without any mercy.

Some elderly Rohingya men present at the spot protested the incident following which the Chakma man cursed them and left the scene.

The assault has left Hossain seriously injured but he is out of danger. 

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June 24, 2017

Maungdaw- Doubts surfaced over the Tatmadaw gunfight in the Mayu hills as rebel group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) rejected claims any of its members have been killed.

ARSA released a statement on twitter saying that if any clashes did take place, it was unaware of such an incident, and none of its members have been killed in recent days.  

On Thursday, state media Global New Light of Myanmar reported the Tatmadaw had killed three Muslim rebels and discovered a tunnel used by the group after arresting a financier from the restive village tract of Kyan Taung, Buthidaung.

One man was killed on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday, the report said citing the office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. An ARSA financier was allegedly arrested after a raid on the village tract. Interrogation of this alleged financier led to successful raids and discovery of the tunnel, according to reports in the state media.

Sources within Kyan Taung say that if there was any ARSA financier present in the area, they had long left the settlement as the army has kept up continuous raids since May. So it is more likely the army had arrested a civilian and accused him of being a financier after he had probably paid failed to pay ransom money, which is a standard practise in the Tatmadaw crackdown on Rohingyas.  

Information from Kyan Taung is often hard to get as the village is on edge following continuous military operations and most Rohingyas are spending their days in the hills or keeping a very low profile and avoiding communication with each other to evade arrest and torture.

However, Suu Kyi’s office has often given out false information that has identified civilians as terrorists. The office had earlier claimed in mid February that armed rebels attacked Hlun Htein in Mile post 56 and 57 in Buthidaung, whereas the information was later found by international and local media to be false.

Under such circumstances, many activists are alleging the government had once again manufactured stories about rebel activity in the Kyan Taung area to cover its own atrocities that included the rape of at least 32 women last month in a clearance operation in the area.

The operation followed a blast that killed ARSA personal in the nearby hills.  

 

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June 21, 2017

Maungdaw- BGP arrested at least ten men from Boli Bazaar in Maungdaw North, took them to Camp no. 24, and tortured them throughout the day, before releasing them in the evening on Monday, according to our local correspondent.

During the raid, the BGP also ransacked around 15 houses, and took away valuables, including cash, that the destitute Rohingya households have been saving up.

Additionally, around ten men from the village was taken away and tortured throughout the day.

Sources say that not only have some of the men been beaten mercilessly, many households are now completely bankrupt as everything they had saved in these harsh times have now been taken away.

A dire humanitarian situation is prevailing in the area following the clearance operation. Locals allege the security forces are intentionally trying to make life even more difficult so that the people of Boli Bazaar are forced to flee to Bangladesh.

A large part of the populace had fled to the neighbouring country during the clearance operations, but a few have returned.

Dozens from Bali Bazaar have died during the clearance operations.   

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June 26, 2017

Maungdaw- Deaths have been reported as Rakhine nationalists backed by BGP and army personal launched an attack on the village tract of Kya Maung in Northern Maungdaw on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Monday).

At around 8am, shortly after the Muslims had finished Eid prayers, hundreds of attackers, many of them identified as Buddhist nationalists from neighbouring settlements descended on the village from three sides, starting from the hamlets of Botali Para and Kari Jora.

At this point, the Rohingyas, including residents of other hamlets made a run for the Morikkom hills as the army swiftly advanced within the settlement. The villagers were however chased by the army and their Rakhine cohorts. The gangsters chopped on the men and even some of the children.

Multiple sources have reported the attacks might have led to the deaths of seven to 11 people including children, but our correspondent in the area has not confirmed fatalities yet till publishing of the report given the details of the victims.

However, our correspondent has confirmed scores of people have been critically injured mainly by attacks of sharp weapons used by the gangsters. Many have been injured in sensitive body parts which might easily lead to death.

A reliable source said many of the women were apprehended by the security forces and kept under confinement where they were beaten up. The victims were mostly elderly women as the younger ones had run away fearing mass rapes. 

The huge detachment of Tatmadaw forces are now present in all the hamlets of Kya Maung. 

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June 21, 2017

Maungdaw- A Rohingya logger in Northern Maungdaw was critically injured in an attack by BGP men in what locals are alleging as an attempted murder, reports our correspondent.

Rashid Ahmed (s/o Syed Ahmed), a resident of Kawar Bil went to Zammoinna to purchase a machete. As he was returning, two BGP personal stopped him at Kunir Khali. Here they took away Rashid’s machete, accused him of being a rebel in the guise of a logger, and then started to hit him in the back of the neck with the instrument.

At this time, a motorcycle carrying two men arrived on the scene. As the commuters raised a hue, sensing there would be many witnesses in the scene, the BGP men hurried left the scene.

Rashid was taken home by the two men.

The area was at the forefront of an assault by security forces last year, resulting in the deaths of scores, including infant children, many killed while trying to flee over the nearby river border to Bangladesh.

 

jammu

June 19, 2017

Mizanur Rahman, former National Human Rights Commission chairman of Bangladesh have said that Rohingyas are being used as chess pawns by trans-boundary crime syndicates.

Rahman was commenting on a statement made by the Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H Mahboob Ali on Thursday that Rohingyas were a potential security threat to Bangladesh.

“But actually they are the pawns of the chess board. The masterminds of the trans-boundary crime syndicate utilise the Rohingya from behind the scene,” he told BenarNews.

“As the Rohingya are stateless, they are hapless. So, they are easily available people to do any types of bad works. They do it for their survival,” Rahman said.

It is well known that criminal syndicates in Bangladesh, often tied to one of the three main political parties have patronised criminal elements from the Rohingya community to carry out illicit activities.

Earlier the Bangladesh Foreign Minister said, “Twenty to 25 percent people in Cox's Bazar are now Rakhine Muslims. Such huge presence of Rakhine Muslims in the area will pose a threat to the national security in future.”  

He added, “The Rakhine people have been engaged in various misdeeds, including drug smuggling on bordering areas and arms and human trafficking. They've become a national security concern for Bangladesh.”

The comments by the Bangladesh FM comes at a time when neighbouring country and ally India is also engaged in similar anti Rohingya propaganda.

Ali also did not use the term Rohingya but ‘Rakhine Muslims’, an apparent negotiation with Myanmar that both the term ‘Rohingya’ and ‘Bengali’ will not be used to describe the Muslim community in Northern Arakan.  

Myanmar however continues to use the term Bengali to describe the Rohingya people. 

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