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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 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 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. 

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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- 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. 

taimru

June 17, 2017

Maungdaw: The hospital in Taung Pyo, Maungdaw North is one of the last places of Arakan where Rohingya Muslims can go for medical care, but that might be about to change. Many sick patients, and even pregnant women are facing increasing harassment in this Taung Pyo hospital, according to our correspondent in the area. Generally, Rakhine hospital staff don’t treat Muslim patients.

Many of the women say they face abusive language and are even being pushed around by the hospital authorities. At least two women, five month pregnant Hamida and three month pregnant Fatima were denied treatment and were slapped by a Rakhine woman when they protested the abusive treatment.

Locals say under these circumstances, many say they might avoid the health centre.

In many other places, especially in the government hospitals of Rakhine dominated areas, pregnant women have been poisoned to death in recent years. Under such circumstances, those who can afford it enter Bangladesh for medical treatment. 

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 19, 2017

Maungdaw- A Rohingya villager was killed by unidentified assailants in Shwe Zarr, Maungdaw South on Friday.

Abul Nasir (s/o Yasin) was taken away from the Guinna Para hamlet by the attackers at late night. Later his body was recovered from a muddy tract near the village. The corpse had multiple cuts from sharp weapons in the stomach, back and upper body area.

Police has taken the corpse to the Maungdaw morgue for autopsy. 

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June 17, 2017

Maungdaw: Hundreds of Tatmadaw personal have taken up positions in Balu Khali, Maungdaw North since Wednesday causing terror among locals, according to our correspondent in the area.

The military personal numbering hundreds have flooded all the neighbours and are patrolling the villages, forcing residents to stay indoors.

The situation is similar in all the hamlets.

The military is residing in the local schools. The villagers have to provide them will all supplies including rice, vegetables and chicken. On the other hand, many Rohingyas including the children are passing their days as they are afraid to venture out of their houses.

An extremely tense situation is prevailing in the area because of the constant military presence. 

 

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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 18, 2017

A detainee arrested during last year’s crackdown have died on Thursday following intense torture in custody, according to multiple sources.

35 year Habib Ullah (s/o Sharif Hossain) is one among more than a dozen other people from Dunsay in Rathedaung who were taken away by the security forces during the last days of the crackdown.

He and 12 others were later transported to Akyab jail.

Many others who were arrested along with Habib were later released. They said all of them, including Habib faced brutal torture in custody for holding peaceful protests against atrocities committed by Tatmadaw led forces. Many of those released have showed our local correspondent that their bones were broken due to beatings in custody. Habib and 12 others were however not released and instead taken to Akyab jail where they continued to be tortured, according to local sources.

Habib’s funeral was held on Friday afternoon and he has been buried in Akyab.

Custodial torture has killed and maimed hundreds of Rohingya prisoners in the last few years. Many have died slow painful deaths after being continuously beaten day after day for months. Prisoners have described gruesome torture techniques like being ‘beaten like snakes with iron rods’ and ‘breaking body parts starting from each finger’.

A video that later went viral on the social media also showed police lining up and brutally assaulting Rohingyas in Dunsay for holding peaceful protests.

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June 17, 2017

Buthidaung- Hlun Htein has conducted fresh raids in the Yong Cong area, resulting in the arrest and torture of at least nine men in the last few days, according to local sources.

Sources have told our correspondent that the security forces are now pressing in on the Daniya Para and Segum Para area since Wednesday. The neighbourhoods are surrounded from all sides and the area is under total lockdown. At least one man has been arrested from Daniya Para and taken to the main Hlun Htein camp in Yong Cong.

Earlier, seven, including a respectable community leader and entrepreneur Haji Abdullah was arrested from near Sindri Parang and brought in for questioning in regards to alleged ties with Muslim rebels. They were brutally tortured by being beaten repeatedly over days and were forced to lie on broken bottles.

Later they were released on Tuesday after the payment of hefty fines totalling more than a billion kyats.

One man is still facing torture as he has not been able to come up with a satisfactory sum of money. 

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