May 29, 2017


Buthidaung- A new census on young Rohingya children that started from Friday has identified them as Bengalis.

Diplomatic sources have long said that due to successful negotiations, the Myanmar government will cease identifying new born and unregistered children as Bengalis, and instead identify them as Rakhine Muslims.

However, a census that started from Buthidaung town has identified all children as Bengalis.

Myanmar refuses to accept the Rohingya as a distinct and indeginious ethnic group and claims they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Locals say the initiative to identify the children as Bengalis will one day result in their expulsion to Bangladesh.

Authorities have said the census will last for 21 days. 

May 28, 2017


Rathedaung- A mentally handicapped man was brutally beaten up by soldiers in the Gadong area of Ratedaung on Tuesday.

Since last week, a huge contingent of Tatmadaw personal have been making rounds in the area. On Tuesday night at around 9pm, they suddenly assumed aggressive positions and charged towards locals in the Shapla para Dokhin Para hamlet. All the Rohingyas ran away save one mentally handicapped man, Abdul Gaffar. Abdul was caught by the military and brutally hit with rifle butts, kicked and punched. He is currently in a critical condition.

The military remained in the civilian area till 3am till which no one remained in their homes.

Local sources have confirmed that Tatmadaw is amassing besides the village every night since last week in huge numbers, creating terror among the local populace. Everyone in the area is passing sleepless nights in anticipation of a coming raid.

May 28, 2017


Teknaf- A refugee has been beaten to death near the Kutupalong refugee camp on Thursday.

The corpse of Md Shafik was recovered at around 3pm from the Madhur Chora waterway which is near the refugee camp. The corpse was ridden with multiple wounds. Shafik had been missing for the last two days, assumed to have been kidnapped by miscreants. Primary reports indicate he had been brutally tortured in custody including being hit multiple times in the eye. The continues torture has caused his death. It is not known where Shafik was held.

Local sources say Shafik might have been killed in regards to an illegitimate affair. Bangladesh police is investigating the case. The main accused Karim Ullah has been absconding since the murder. Shafik is said to have returned from Malaaysia, from where he has been staying for some time after getting news that Karim had married his wife illegitimately. 

Both the victim and the accused are registered refugees from F block. 

May 27, 2017


Buthidaung- Four slave labourers were brutally attacked and injured when gangsters from the Rakhine community attacked them on Tuesday.

The four men from Tangana para in Rathedaung were forced to work in the nearby BGP camp from 8 am to 4pm without any payment. As they were returning home following work, a gang of miscreants fell on them with sharp weapons.

One of the victims, Md Hossain is in a critical condition as he has received deep cuts in the ankles.

The incident once again highlights the insecurity of Rohingyas who go out of their village to earn a livelihood, as it demonstrates anyone leaving the village risks being attacked by the miscreants who have effectively enforced a blockade on many village tracts with the backing of security forces, creating conditions of artificial starvation.

While these men were slave labourers, loggers and fishermen in the area have basically been cut off from livelihood sources and are now also being blocked from accessing the marketplaces.

Meanwhile, the practise of slave labour, more common during the era of the now disbanded Na Sa Ka is making a comeback as both the army and BGP are starting to rely on this practise.

May 27, 2017

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Buthidaung- Joint forces once again launched a raid in the remote village tract of Kyan Taung and burned down eight houses on Wednesday.

At around 2pm, the forces comprising of Tatmadaw, Hlun Htein and MPF officials entered the Ali Rowa hamlet of the village tract and began a house by house search.

At one point, they surrounded eight isolated houses separated from the main settlement by a waterway, and burned it down.

The remote village tract has been tense since May 6 when armed forces raped dozens of women in the hamlet of Themi after an explosion in the nearby hills.

Information from Kyan Taung is difficult to get owing to the remoteness of the area.

Many Rohingyas in the area have been killed in the surrounding hills by Tatmadaw personal in recent years but the cases have gone mainly unreported.

The area does not have neighbouring settlements. The hills surrounding the village tract are inhabited by isolated tribes who stay away from the affairs of the outside world. 

May 25, 2017

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Buthidaung- A grandmother and her grandson were killed by armed police in Buthidaung last month, according to testimonies of surviving family members who have escaped to Bangladesh.

On Monday, Nurul Islam alleged that his mother and son were killed by armed police on April 27 near their home in Jabbar para hamlet, Ward 4 of Buthidaung town.

“Shortly after asr prayers, a rickshaw puller informed us that my mother had been killed by police near our home,” says Nurul Islam.

Hearing the account, Islam and some of his family members rushed to the spot. Howerver, his son 18 year Jaber who was more headstrong than the others rushed to the scene without taking any precautions. As soon as armed police saw him, they attacked him with sharp weapons. Jaber also died from the attack.

Following the incident, Nurul Islam, took off with his wife and two daughters and ran away from Buthidaung town. They reached Don Khali in Maungdaw South and hid in the hills for days before getting the opportunity to cross over in to Bangladesh, around two weeks after the murder of their two family members.

Nurul Islam says there is a chance that he and his other family members would have been killed by police had they stayed on in Myanmar.

The case has so far not been documented.

Information from Buthidaung area is often hard to get because of the remoteness and absence of telecommunications.

Many recently arrived refugees from Buthidaung are relaying gruesome accounts of atrocities committed by the Tatmadaw and other security forces, but very few of these accounts have been documented so far.

May 24, 2017


Rajar Bil (Rathedaung)- The village chairman of Rajar Bil and two of his companions was brutally assaulted by a gang of Ma Ba Tha men in the local market on Sunday.

Md Amin and two of his cohorts had gone to the market when he was suddenly attacked by a local Ma Ba Tha gang.

The chairman of the village is generally known to be loyal to regime forces and the attacks come as a surprise to local Rohingyas.

A tense atmosphere is prevailing in the area as locals say if a pro government Rohingya is attacked like this, one can only imagine the fears of the general populace.

Politicians linked to the Rakhine nationalist outfit ANP had earlier said they will bar Rohingyas from going to the market places.

Activists have long said that Rohingya fishermen and loggers have been blocked from going to the hills and forests in what is a systematic strategy to starve them out. Now the barring of Rohingyas from the marketplace seems to be another step in creating artificial starvation as without access to the markets, the locals are deprived of basic amnesties including food and medicine. 

May 27, 2017

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Maungdaw- Three women have been arrested from Bassara in Maungdaw South after the army reportedly planted guns in their yard.

On Friday morning, troops entered the village tract and launched a house by house raid in the area. One of those houses raided was the house of a man named Shafik.

A few minutes after the first raid, a different team of Tatmadaw personal came and recovered three guns from the yard. The three women in the house were nabbed and taken away.

Locals are in terror following the arrest of the three women as it is expected more might be apprehended in similar manner.

Rohingyas arrested on charges like this face intense torture which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds in recent years. 

May 25, 2017


Maungdaw- Hlun Htein is forcing Rohingyas in Sitar Pawarika in Maungdaw South to work as slave labourers. Every morning and noon, two locals in Bara Para hamlet of the village tract are forced to carry water for the entire camp over long distances.

No payment is given for the job.

The government has long claimed that the practise of slave labour common during the times of the now disbanded Na Sa Ka, does not exist anymore.

However, Rohingyas in the area say the practise of slave labour has made a comeback in recent years and many Rohingyas are forced to work without payment.

May 24, 2017


Buthidaung- Hlun Htein and police forces once again raided the restive village tract of Kyan Taung on Sunday and assaulted villagers.

The forces raided the hamlet of Buchi Cong at around 11am where they entered houses and smashed up property, saying that locals supported Muslim rebel group Al Yakin. During this time, they also checked the identification papers of locals and said unless they handed over rebels, the entire village would be burned down.

Four men were arrested and have been taken to Taung Bazaar. Family members allege they are facing intense torture since their arrest. They have identified as Md Rafique, Johar, Hamid Hossain and Ali Ahmed. Since 2012, hundreds of Muslim prisoners have been tortured to death in custody.

Hlun Htein had earlier called a meeting of village elders. When 18 of them turned up, the forces instead of talking to them started beating them up.

Kyan Taung has been tense since Tatmadaw led forces embarked on a mass rape orgy in the hamlet of Themi. At least 32 women have been raped since May 8, according to multiple sources.

There are fears that the Tatmadaw will expand their operations to the other hamlets. 

May 26, 2017


Buthidaung- Hlun Htein forces launched a sudden raid in the sparsely populated village tract of Pyin Chaung and abducted a well known local religious scholar on Wednesday.

At around 3.45pm, the forces numbering around 15 entered the village tract and went to the house of Moulavi Hasan, 40.

He was taken out of the house and then brutally beaten up with rifle butts. He was also kicked and punched without any mercy.

Once he been beaten to near death, he was put on a motorcycle and taken to an undisclosed destination.

Family members say he might be killed.

The assault in public and the abduction in broad daylight of  a respected community member has spread panic in the area.

Forced disappearances and arbitrary killings are becoming increasingly common in recent days, especially in the remote regions of Buthidaung from where it is difficult to communicate with the outside world. 

May 25, 2017

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Akyab- Another fire in Akyab township is now raising suspicions that this might be planned attacks by nationalist outfits, say local sources.

At around 9.30 pm on Tuesday, a fire engulfed a Rohingya market place in Goyalar Dil, destroying almost all shops.

During this time, when locals ran forward to douse the fire, they were barred by police forces. When the fire started to spread to the Rakhine areas, firefighters came to the scene and made sure it did not touch those places.

The fire came from the direction of a Rakhine settlement called Te Chaung. Locals say it was at first a small fire which could easily have been put out if the police had let them. Later it went very big and damaged millions of kyats of Rohingya property and wiped ot the resources of many entrepreneurs. 

The nature of the police intervention has raised suspicions that this might have been an arson attack.

However, the government alleges Rohingyas put fire on their own properties to attract international sympathy and place blame on Buddhist outfits. Following incidents like this, it is most often the victims that get charged by the police. 

May 21,2017

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Army and BGP forces raided Diyal Tali in Maungdaw North on Friday,allegedly looking for terrorists.

On Friday at around 5.30am, the forces besieged the village. Later as morning came, they carried a house by house search and detained some of the men who had not managed to escape. 

Later however they also detaied some of the women and children.Everybody was herded into a fied where they were  made to stand in the sun for hours. 

The names of the detained men were checked against a list they had brought with them. During this time, some of the men were slapped. Dozens of men were then taken to the nearby army camp. 

The detainees have all been since released. They however allege they were badly beaten up by the sodiers even though their names did not match any of the 'terrorists' on the list. 

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