Five detained and tortured amid fishing ban


February 13, 2017

Maungdaw- Five Rohingya fishermen were detained and tortured by Hlun Htein near Furma in Maungdaw North.
On Wednesday, the fishermen were fishing in the river adjacent to the village when Hlun Htein personnel intercepted them. They started beating the arrested men in the spot saying the Muslims had no right to fish in this country as it was not their own.
The Rohingyas were then taken to the Hlun Htein base in the locality where they were further tortured. The Rohingyas asked for mercy saying thy had no option but to fish as their families were starving as they had not been in the rivers since October.
However this only increased the anger of the security forces.
Later senior community members negotiated their release for the payment of 20000 kyats per person. All the victims were hard pressed to find the money, more so as they have been prevented from fishing since October. One of the men even had to sell all his possessions including all but in piece of cloth belonging to his wife. Our correspondent says there was no alternative option as the torture was becoming unbearable.
Incidentally, Rohingyas have been barred from the waterway since October depriving them of one of the few livelihood sources. 

Activists say this is a systematic method to deprive the Rohingyas from food and drive them away from the region. The strategy is more common in the southern townships outside the frontier area where the Rakhines are a majority but since October has been implemented in Maungdaw.