July 3, 2017  

Maungdaw- A huge detachment of military personal entered Shwe Zarr in Maungdaw South and began rounding up local villagers in the Arissa Para hamlet starting from the early morning hours of Sunday, according to our local correspondent.

However, seeing the military, many Rohingyas, all the men and some of the women escaped to the nearby forests.

The exact number of arrests is not known and details are still sketchy as the area remains under lockdown. 

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July 3, 2017  

Maungdaw- A huge detachment of military personal entered Na Kaing Taun in Buthidaung in the early morning hours of Monday and assaulted several people, while one was beaten unconscious, taken to custody where he is facing further torture, reports our correspondent from the area.

The teenage boy was beaten till he fell to the ground and became unconscious. Later he was taken away by the army to the local camp.

Multiple sources have confirmed that he is facing further torture in the camo. This has left family members worried as many arrested in the past few days have been tortured to death.

Torture leading to death in custody is becoming even more common in Arakan in recent times. 

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July 1, 2017  

Maungdaw- Hlun Htein forces stopped the call to prayer (Adhaan) during Jumma (Special Friday Prayers) in Ang Dhang, according to our local correspondent.

As the Muazzin was giving the call to prayer, a BGP officer dragged him from the minaret and assaulted him mercilessly. Then many children who were hanging around the mosque were beaten up by the BGP. The victims were all minor children.

The BGP officer then shouted out that from this moment, no Muslim is allowed to go to any mosques and say their prayers. In essence this basically means that Muslims in Ang Dhang are hereby prohibited from practising their religion.

Ang Dhang has been tense since the day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Monday) when a religious scholar named Abu Toyub was arrested and tortured to death. 

 

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July 1, 2017

Buthidaung- Military officers have ordered Rohingyas in the remote village tract of Da Bru Sang to evacuate their homes and go somewhere else, according to local sources.

Sources have told one of our correspondent based in a Southern Buthidaung village that the army had given this order on Saturday, following which the area has become a ghost village.

The military said they are going to use heavy fire in the area and anyone staying behind will be killed.  

Da Bru Sang has witnessed deadly military operations that had killed scores including infant children in March and April, according to testimonies of locals who had later fled to Bangladesh. But owing to the remoteness of the area and bad communications, the cases have all gone undocumented.

It is not known whether rebels actually operate in this area.

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June 30, 2017  

Maungdaw- A fisherman was shot dead by forces from Tatmadaw Yay on the river Naaf on Tuesday, according to our correspondent in the area.

Md Samat (s/o Kala Miah) from Shil Khali, Maungdaw North was killed after he had gone to the river in the morning.

Samat’s corpse was discovered in the river after villagers rushed to the spot upon hearing gunfire. The account of the death was given by Samat’s surviving companion Abu Sayeed who confirmed that the navy had fired on their dingy.

A tensed atmosphere is prevailing in the area since the day of Eid-ul-Fitr as an ongoing attack takes place in the nearby village of Kya Maung which has reportedly resulted in the deaths of many. An army backed gang is also patrolling in the nearby village of Taung Pyo.

After the incident, Rohingyas fear leaving the settlement amid growing concerns over their livelihood. Locals are dependent on fishing and logging, thus it is imperative they leave their settlements, but as this incident demonstrates, that is becoming very risky.

Rohingya activists allege that security forces and their Buddhist nationalist cohorts have carried out a blockade of many settlements since 2012 with the intention of creating artificial starvation to force the hungry community to move out. The practise more common in the Rakhine majority townships have also been used effectively since October in Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

 

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June 29, 2017

Maungdaw- Rakhine community leaders and well known Buddhist nationalists have been organising meetings near the restive village tract of Bali Bazaar in Northern Maungdaw since Eid day, according to our local correspondent.

In the meeting they speak about the threat of Muslims to the Rakhine community and said they must take renewed preparations to ‘defend’ themselves, according to reliable sources.

As a result, there is increased tensions in the already tensed village as locals fear the army is organising the mobs to create another 2012 style massacre that killed thousands of Muslims.

Bali Bazaar was one of the villages targeted by the army during last year’s operations, resulting in the deaths of scores. Back at that time, the nationalist gangs did not play a prominent part. But events since Eid has created fears that the next bout of ethnic cleansing will involve the participation of the nationalists enabling the army to hide behind nominally civilian gangs thus escaping to some degree the international pressure levied on them last year.   

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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 30, 2017

Maungdaw- At least seven people were arrested from Kunir Khali in Northern Maungdaw on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, according to our local correspondent.

A source claimed as many as 15 people have been arrested in the crackdown. Arrests followed after a pro regime man was reportedly attacked. 

Multiple sources have confirmed the prisoners are facing intense torture in custody.

In the last few days, many Rohingyas have died from custodial torture, a practise common in the Arakan. Hundreds are said to have died following torture in custody since 2012 and many more have been permanently disabled.

As a result, family members are fearing for the safety of the arrested men. 

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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. 

 

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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 29, 2017  

Maungdaw- A religious scholar has reportedly been tortured to death in Maungdaw.

Our correspondent reports that the victim Abu Toyub was arrested by BGP shortly before Eid-ul-Fitr prayers on Monday from Ang Dhang in Southern Maungdaw. Since then he had faced brutal custodial torture.

In the evening when some local Rohingyas defied every risk and went to the BGP camp to lobby for Toyub’s release, they were reprimanded and one of them was also placed under arrest. Shafi Ullah was kept under overnight confinement but had been released on Tuesday morning.

Toyub has been facing inhuman torture since his arrest, report local sources.

On Tuesday he was sent to Maungdaw town.

Arrests and attacks have marred Eid celebrations in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships.

Incidentally, torture and inhumane torture of Rohingya Muslims is common in Arakan, leading to the death and permanent injuries of many. 

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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 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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