May 18. 2017

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Hlun Hten officials once again went on to brutally assault a villager in the Taung Pyo area.

On Wednesday after midnight, the forces arrived from their border outpost in Kunir Khali and went to the house of a village in-charge (Jimmadar) in Shilkhali of Taung Pyo. As he was not home, the BGP officer abused their family members in foul language.

They then entered the house of a man named Hashim and began to beat him up without any apparent reason. He was kicked, punched and hit with a rifle butt during this time. He has sustained severe injuries especially in the waist area.

The Hlun Htein forces from their Kunir Khali border outpost has been raiding and harassing villagers in Taung Pyo on a regular basis. 

May 18. 2017

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Maungdaw- Hlun Htein arrested a motorcycle driver from Wycom, Maungdaw North on Monday and subjected him to brutal torture in custody.

On Sunday, Hamid Hossain had taking commuters to Taimbru. He was coming back on Monday when Hlun Htein forces intercepted him on the edge of his village.

Hamid was taken to the Hlun Htein base in Bali Bazaar. Local sources and family members allege that since then he is being brutally tortured.

Hlun Htein has told Hamid during the torture that locals were entertaining terrorists, giving them food and shelter. As long as they were involved in aiding these outsiders, they will continue to face arrest and torture, said the Hlun Htein personal.

A tense atmosphere is prevailing in the area since the arrest and torture of Hamid. The area is close to the places where Tatmadaw led operations killed hundreds, including children last year.

May 18. 2017

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Maungdaw- Tatmadaw forces arrested a woman from the now destroyed village tract of Ra Bai La on Monday for disclosing the murder of her husband and two other neigbhours when the army attacked the Northern Maungdaw village in mid November.

Salima Khatun had spoken to an investigation commission which had visited the region on February 19 where she described in detail on how Tatmadaw personal got hold of her husband Abdu Salam and two other men on November 13, cut them up with sharp weapons, burned their corpses and buried them in a hole.

Since the statement, Khatun has received multiple threats from military and BGP personal stationed in the area. At one point, the forces asked a notorious gang of collaborators (tabbeys) to get Khatun to confess that she had lied about her husband’s death.

The tabbeys forced Khatun to sign a confessional statement saying she had lied to the investigation commission and her husband had died from natural causes and was not killed by the Tatmadaw.

Soon after she wrote this confessional statement, Khatun was arrested on Monday at around 3pm by the military. She has been accused of slandering the Tatmadaw and they have produced Khatun’s forced confessional statement in the court as evidence of her guilt.

One source said she had already been sentenced to six months in jail without giving the chance to defend herself.

Incidentally, Ra Bai La, along with the nearby settlements of Sa Li Frang, Bor Gazi Bil and Sau Ra Gazi Bil was attacked with helicopters and rocket launchers on November 12. The next day, heavily armed Tatmadaw men went in, apprehended and killed civilians, and threw infant children into the fire, among other atrocities committed on that day. Hundreds died in what was the deadliest attack on Rohingya civilians during the three month crackdown that has killed more than a thousand.   

May 16, 2017

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Maungdaw- A group of Bengali Buddhist settlers suddenly entered the restive neighbourhood of Hanti Para in Lound Don and verbally abused locals on Saturday.

Local eyewitnesses say they were baffled when at around 1pm, the Bengali settlers suddenly entered an area with an overwhelming Muslim majority where they shouted out abuses against the Islamic religion and Bangladesh.

Rohingyas are regarded by many as illegal settlers from Bangladesh.

Local sources have confirmed to our correspondent that radical monk Wirathu had toured the Buddhist settlements in the area a few days ago.

Many in Lound Don allege Wirathu had mobilised these Bengali settlers through propaganda against Bangladesh and Muslims. As a result of Wirathu’s incitements, Rakhines and other Buddhist groups are getting encouraged to launch communal attacks against the beleaguered Rohingya community.

A large number of Bangladeshi Buddhist citizens have been granted incentives to settle in areas previously habituated by Muslims to increase the ratio of Buddhists in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships.

Incidentally Lound Don was one of the village tracts targeted by the Tatmadaw and gruesome atrocities including the random killing of civilians and children took place. Much of the population has already fled to Bangladesh.

May 16, 2017

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Maungdaw- Tatmadaw personal have suddenly set up checkpoints alongside the road bordering the village tract of Hant Gojja Para in Maungdaw North from Monday.

Vehicles carrying Rohingyas were stopped and commuters were made to get down where they were slapped and verbally abused.

Hant Gojja Para lies close to the now destroyed village tracts where Tatmadaw committed gruesome atrocities in the name of clearance operations in fall last year.

Since the Tatmadaw presence and their abusive behaviour, a tense atmosphere is prevailing in Hant Gojja Para.

Last week, many men were abducted from Hant Gojja Para and reportedly tortured by security forces. Their whereabouts are still unknown and many family members are fearing the worst.

May 15, 2017

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Maungdaw- Local government officials accompanied by security forces held a meeting with villagers from Kawa Bil, Maungdaw North, on Friday.

During the meeting that took place in the destroyed hamlet of Wa Beik, the officials told the government would be ‘kind enough’ to shift the Muslim population to an IDP camp where they will be given ‘grants’ to build shelters.

The villagers told the officials that if they were really kind towards the affected population, they would be allowed to go back to their original homes. The officials replied harshly that it was the government decision and not subject to negotiations.

Kawa Bil was evicted and burned down in mid October last year amid gruesome atrocities that included planned executions of civilians, rape and abduction of women, and killing of children. The entire village, especially those in the Wa Beik area were burned down and everybody was driven out.

Much of the populace has since fled to Bangladesh while the rest have erected shanty huts in marshlands and other places alongside their former habitats.

The government has told villagers that all destroyed homes are now their property and Rohingyas will be moved to ‘model villages’, a synonym for IDP camps. The space allocated for this IDP camp will hardly hold even the remaining populace of Kawa Bil. 

Villagers in the other destroyed areas of Northern Maungdaw have been given similar directives. 

May 14, 2017

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Maungdaw- Panic is prevailing in the village tract of Ang Dhang in Maungdaw South after Hlun Htein officials called a meeting with community elders on Friday following Jumma prayers.

During the meeting, Hlun Htein told the Rohingyas that they have information that ‘terrorists’ are hiding among the local populace. They threatened the Rohingya population with dire consequences and said they will meet the same fate as the destroyed village tracts of Maungdaw North where gruesome atrocities were committed last year in the name of clearance operations.

The part of Maungdaw South has not seen any rebel activity but locals are now fearing the security forces will stir up trouble and commit systematic ethnic cleansing similar to Maungdaw North. Villagers have also been ordered not to come out of their homes after evening. There are also fears the security forces will tighten the blockade of the village and prevent locals from going to the waterways, thus depriving them of a livelihood and create systematic starvation.

Rohingya activists have long alleged the government blockade on Muslim settlements is a well devised strategy to deprive locals of their livelihood and force them to move out to Bangladesh.

A tense atmosphere is prevailing in the area.

May 16, 2017

Buthi terror 

Buthidaung- Tatmadaw and Hlun Htein personal have indulged in a mass rape orgy in the restive village tract of Kyan Taung in Buthidaung.

On May 8, hundreds of personal entered the middle hamlet known as Ali Roa and detained everyone they could find. The detained, both men and women were herded into a field. At this point, some of the women were taken to a secluded place and raped, according to testimonies of the victims. Some of the men were severely assaulted.

The forces then went on a long search and detained more than a dozen women who were hiding in one place. All of them were sexually assaulted and many were raped.

Activists have long alleged the Tatmadaw uses rape as a weapon of war to demoralise ethnic communities before taking over their land. 

Troops also looted valuables from the homes of the Rohingyas at this time. Many who had worked hard to come up with savings have lost everything, and don’t know how their families will survive in the coming days.

Operations also took place on May 9, May 10 and May 11 but details are not forthcoming. Kyan Taung is a remote village and it takes some time for information to reach from local correspondents to our editorial desk.

It is assumed that operations have continued at full pace since May 11 to May 16 till publishing of this report.

The government announced beginning of clearance operations in Kyan Taung after an explosion killed two Rohingyas and wounded two others near Themi. The government alleges the explosions took place as an accident of bomb making but locals allege the Muslims were targeted by a Buddhist nationalist gang backed by the authorities. The explosion tool place as Wirathu’s visit raised tensions in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung region.

The Tatmadaw has been committing gruesome atrocities, including killing of infant children in the remote regions north of the Taung Bazaar area in Buthidaung in the last few weeks. The remoteness of the region makes it very difficult for our correspondents and other Rohingya media outlets to collect authentic news. 

14 May, 2017

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Maungdaw- As mosque attendees were coming out of their prayers in Garaita Bil, Maungdaw North, Hlun Htein forces fired in their direction. The shots were however aimed above the heads of the Rohingyas and no one received any injuries.

The forces then surrounded the Muslims and brought out a list of people whom they said were ‘terrorists’. As terrified onlookers watched on, two men were pulled away and shoved roughly, with the Hlun Htein alleging their names belonged in the list.

After a detailed check, they however confirmed the two men were not on the list.

Others were also checked and informed that as yet, they were not on the list. They were then warned that if anyone on the terror list were found in Garaita Bil, they would meet the same fate as their neighbouring villages of Maungdaw North.

During the operation, the Hlun Htein maintained an aggressive look, treating the mosque attendees very roughly.

Garaita Bil lies on the edge of the area where Tatmadaw conducted clearance operations last year, killing more than a thousand, including infant children who were thrown into fire. As a result, residents are naturally terrified. The aggressive nature of the Friday’s Hlun Htein operation has raised further fears about the future in an area already reeling under the terror of recent Tatmadaw operations in the very near neighbourhood. 

May 13, 2017

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Maungdaw- Hlun Htein personal accompanied by notorious collaborator Saw Deya attacked mosque attendees in Hassu Rata following Isha prayers on Thursday.

The group surrounded the mosque in the Tula Para hamlet following the end of prayers and began to hurl abuses at the people inside the mosque. At one stage they went inside and started slapping some of the people who were at the prayers.

Since the incident, locals are saying they cannot attend prayers in the local mosque.

Incidentally the coastal village of Hassu Rata is ruled by the notorious collaborator (tabbey) Saw Deya who is involved in human trafficking. Hlun Htein and Tatmadaw Yay forces also maintain a strong presence in the area. 

 

May 15, 2017

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Maungdaw- At least three men were detained and many including women and children assaulted as Tatmadaw forces raided the restive village tract of Bali Bazaar once again on Saturday.

At around 8am, the force numbering around a hundred surrounded the hamlet of Shonali Para and forced the residents to an open field. One half of the team surrounded the locals, while others went into the homes and turned it upside down. Later locals reported many of their valuables, especially cash and gold items were missing.

The military then asked questions about Muslim rebels and hit many of the villagers during this questioning, some of them women and children.

Three men were then pulled away from the crowd and taken away by the military.

Local sources allege they are facing brutal torture in custody.

Many men apprehended in similar fashion have gone missing, presumed to be dead.

Bali Bazaar was one of the village tracts targeted by the Tatmadaw in October 2016, and scores have been killed and abducted, many of them children. 

May 14, 2017

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Maungdaw- Local authorities backed by Hlun Htein have started widening the roads in Ward no. 5 of Maungdaw South, in the process damaging the houses of Rohingyas.

The road construction work started on Friday.

Locals say the government has never paid heed to the sorry conditions of roads in Rohingya neighbourhoods. But even though these particular roads are comparatively wider than many of the roads in Muslim settlements, they have suddenly started work to broaden this road. They allege this construction work to broaden the roads is nothing but a ploy to destroy Rohingya homes.

Last year, the state government declared that around 3500 houses and  other structures belonging to Rohingyas will be demolished as they don’t have proper ‘authorisation’.

Sources from the area say the widening of roads might be part of that project to systematically knock down Rohingya owned structures. 

May 12, 2017

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Teknaf- A 13 year girl was kidnapped from the Kutupalong refugee camp and forced to marry a 60 year influential local man in Kutupalong.

Rabeya had arrived along with her family from Na Sa Gru following the recent Tatmadaw operation and settled on the temporary shelters erected alongside A block of the Kutupalong unregistered camp. The area is controlled by a local influential man Hamidul Haque who collects rent from the refugees.

About a month back, Hamidul started making indecent approaches towards Rabeya. When his father Hossain Ahmed protested the incident, Hamidul slapped him and threatened him with dire consequences if he ever dared to open his mouth again.

Matters took a more serious turn when Hamid and two of his henchmen forced Rabeya, his father Hossain and mother Sufiya Khatun to accompany them to Cox’s Bazar on April 24.

On reaching Cox’s Bazar, Rabeya was forced to take the marriage vows. When her parents protested, they were confined to another room and grievously assaulted.

After that the parents were told to go back to Kutupalong camp.

Nobody has seen or heard from Rabeya since then.

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