November 29, 2016
A former prisoner detained at the Hlun Htein base in Kawa Bil, Maungdaw North has claimed scores of prisoners had their eyes gouged out after being arrested during the ongoing crackdown. Md Shoaib, a student who had just managed to escape to Bangladesh on Friday made this allegation.
Shoaib was arrested by Hlun Htein and taken to the their base known locally as Thana Shuk. He was then taken to a room where he saw scores of prisoners who were bleeding from their eyes which looked like they were recently gouged out. Many of the prisoners had already died, while some were crying out in painful agony. Others were too weak to cry out.
Shoaib was released as his father had negotiated and arranged an extraordinary large amount of money. When he was about to be released, a senior commander suddenly started shouting at his subordinates saying Shoaib was not supposed to be detained at that room, and now if he was let out, he would tell the others everything. After some hesitation, they let Shoaib out after he managed to convince them he would not tell anyone about the Muslim prisoners.
Local sources say this would account for scores of men who were taken prisoners during the recent drives in Kawa Bil, Maung Hna Ma, Zammoinna and Noun Dah Khali. There might also be prisoners from other Maungdaw North villages.
Activists and Rohingya media outlets including this newspaper have often pointed out that Rohingya Muslims arrested by security forces face brutal torture in custody, often leading to their deaths.
The incident confirms the actual death toll in the Maungdaw North region is likely to jump up as most of the arrested men are likely to have been tortured to death in custody.
Hundreds of Rohingya men have been arrested and taken to unknown locations since October 9.
Smell of death in Lound Don as women paraded naked in the village
Details are still sketchy from Lound Don where an army operation on Friday has reportedly killed scores of Rohingyas. The Tatmadaw maintains a heavy presence in the area and it is difficult to get information from locals. The army surrounded the neighbourhood in a quick offensive and those who did not manage to escape are living like hostages.
However, one source who managed to give information from the ground said around a hundred women, both young and old were taken to a school field where they were ordered to take off their clothes. The naked women were made to lie on the ground and the Tatmadaw assaulted and sexually molested them by whipping on their naked private parts.
The naked women were then made to parade around the roads of the Hatipara neighbourhood. Here the soldiers kept shouting that until the rebels surrender, there would be more punishment for Muslim women.
Rampage in Naya para and Nurulla para
Soldiers went on a rampage in the Naya para neighbourhood of Maungdaw town on Sunday. They seemed to be destroying some structures around a pond that are generally used to shelter would-be refugees trying to escape to Bangladesh.
On Monday at around 9.30am, Hlun Htein and police went in to Nurulla para and ordered locals to knock down the walls of the main madrasa in the area.
Funeral in Sau Ra Gazi Bil
Rohingyas in Sau Ra Gazi Bil managed to sneak in to their now destroyed village tract and buried some of the corpses before running away again. The village tract along with the neighbouring areas of Bor Gazi Bil, Ra Bai La and Sa Li Frang were hit with helicopter gunships, rocket launchers and heavy machine guns on November 12 and November 13 after locals armed with sticks protested against the rape of Rohingya women in the neighbourhood. An estimated 150 people were killed in the attacks and the villages were destroyed while infant children were thrown into the fire.