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 26, 2017

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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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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 25, 2017

shaplapur 

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 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

army agai

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. 

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 24, 2017

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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 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 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 24, 2017

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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 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 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.

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