Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) robbed goats belonged to a helpless Rohingya woman in northern Maungdaw on Tuesday (Feb 21), it has been reported.

At around 12:00 noon on Tuesday, a group of the BGP personnel from the Region 6 camp in northern Maungdaw travelling towards the downtown on a van. The BGP caught some goats grazing by the Kyikanpyin (Hawar Bil)-Maungdaw Expressway post the Kyikanpyin checkpost, put them on the van and took them away.
The livestock belonged to ‘Ms. Mariam d/o Noor Ali, 32, from Kyikanpyin, a helpless mother of three children estranged from her husband when he got jailed in Malaysia after he fled from Myanmar to escape violence.
She, after the BGP had robbed her goats, said “the BGP and the military are not public servants but trained and licensed robbers.”
On Thursday (Feb 23), Sub-lieutenant Myint Kyu, the In-charge of the BGP Camp at Maung Ni village, arrested a poor man from the village on an arbitrary accusation of gambling and detained in the Camp. The next day, the BGP In-charge extorted Kyat 400,000 from him for his release.
A local man in the village said “this sub-lieutenant policeman was here as the in-charge of the cano during **Nasaka time too. Then, also, he was notorious for money extortions. Now, he has been enough posted here again as the BGP In-charge. So, he has resumed his money extortion business. We request the higher officials or the concerned quarters to take actions against the corrupted officers like him.”
**Nasaka is the former Border Security Force and the preceding department of the Border Guard Police.

More than 200 Rohingya civilians arrested in northern Maungdaw on 14th November 2016 are now facing arbitrary trials and subjected to long-term imprisonments, reports say.



On the November 14 last year, the Myanmar military rounded up the village of ‘Ye Dwin Chaung’ and arrested more than 200 innocent Rohingya men taking refuge in the village to escape from arbitrary arrests in its neighboring villages — such as ‘Pwin Phyu Chaung’ and ‘Kyar Gaung Taunt.’ They were detained without sufficient foods to eat and brutally tortured in the cells of the Border Guard Police (BGP) headquarter for two weeks.
Afterwards, they were transferred to the Buthidaung prison, where the authorities have tortured them less but detained them without providing critically required medical treatments; and regular and proper meals since then.
It has been learnt that the authorities are now putting the victims on arbitrary trials under four criminal charges — such as Section 302 (Murder), Section 17/1 (Unlawful Association Act), Section 324 (Voluntarily Causing Hurt by Dangerous Weapons) and one more — and using the office of the clerks of the Buthidaung Township Administration as an alternative courtroom for the trial.
The victims were apparently given the rights to hire their own lawyers.
“The victims have been allowed to hire their own lawyers. But winning margin of their cases are extremely slim, according to some lawyers, as all the prosecutors and the witnesses are the military themselves”, said a man, related to a victim charged under the false cases, while speaking to Rohingya Vision on the condition of anonymity.
The man further added “hundreds of other victims arrested and sentenced to long-term imprisonments earlier didn’t even get the right to know under what charges they were jailed. Neither did the lawyers working for Maungdaw High Court. The Judge made to the place of the detention and just read out the verdicts and terms of the imprisonments to the victims”
More than 1,500 innocent village men have been arrested and detained or imprisoned since the Myanmar military and the Border Guard Police began the so-called “Region Clearance Operation” in Maungdaw on October 9, 2016. Many of whom have been reported to have either died by falling sick due to ruthless tortures or been mercilessly killed after the arrests.

Monday, 20 February 2017

The displaced locals at the village of ‘Kyikanpyin’ will likely be able to return to their original places according to the verbal permission given by the Border Guard Police (BGP) in Maungdaw on Friday (Feb 17) afternoon, sources have reported.

The Myanmar military and the BGP conducted sporadic attacks on ‘Wapeik’ hamlet of the village of ‘Kyikanpyin’ in northern Maungdaw and burnt down the locals’ homes in October 2016, while ‘Middle hamlet’ (of Kyikanpyin) was entirely removed with the order of the BGP Commander ‘Brigadier General Thura San Lwin’ on October 23, 2016, displacing several hundreds of local people in the village.
At around 2:30 PM on February 17, ‘Brigadier General Thura San Lwin’ summoned the displaced people from these two hamlets for a meeting and told them they could return to their original places.
“The BGP Commander ‘Thura San Lwin’ said that they had to burn down homes in the Wapeik hamlet and expel people from the Middle hamlet because the terrorists were hiding in there and we could now return to our original places. According to him, the villagers of Wapeik can rebuild their houses, but the villagers of the middle hamlet can only repair their houses as they were not burnt down but damaged by the Natalas, illegal Rakhine settlers.
Besides, some displaced families of Wapeik whose houses were near to the BGP headquarter won’t be able return to their original lands but will be relocated somewhere else. He also threatened the people attending the meeting that the whole Kyikanpyin will be wiped out from the map if incidents like October 9, 2016 attacks happen again”, said a local, who attended the meeting on the condition of anonymity.
“However, we are still skeptic. We don’t know if we are permanently allowed to return to our original places or it was just an attempt to create news headlines on it and reduce international pressures,” he added.
During the meeting, the BGP Commander also accused three ordinary villagers of Kyikanpyin as people linked with insurgents in the region. Locals have confirmed them to be just simple and innocent people targeted and blacklisted by the BGP because they met with the UN-led Diplomats on November 2 and other UN representatives. They are:
  • Salimullah (s/o) Abdu Gaffar, a shopkeeper from the middle hamlet
  • Shafiur Rahman, a volunteer school teacher from Wapeik
  • Haarsoo, a fishery pond owner from Wapeik
Although the BGP Commander allowed the displaced people of Wapeik to return their home lands, the village administrator of Kyikanpyin, U Zaw Phyo Tun (a Rakhine), stopped the people on the way to the northern part of Wapeik, which is the main section of the village, mentioning that the village section is near to ‘Aung Zay Zayar’ village, an illegal Natala Rakhine settlement.
At around 6:45 PM yesterday (on Feb 17), the house of Hussain (son of) Abdu Karim at the Middle Hamlet was set on fire. When the neighboring Rohingya villagers rushed to the place to extinguish the fire, they saw a group of Natala Rakhine extremists including the one identified as U Tun Kyi (27), s/o U Thein Maung fleeing from the scene on motorcycles. Earlier, at around 6:00 PM, a Rohingya from the Kyikanpyin village also witnessed the group of Rakhine extremists sitting by the road before the house set ablaze later.

The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested six Rohingya figureheads in southern Maungdaw for skipping a meeting held on Sunday (on Feb 19) in relation to National Verification Card also called NVC, it has been reported.

The Rakhine (formerly known as Arakan) State minister, Colonel Htin Lin; and the Maungdaw Township Administrator and his team visited the village of ‘Alay Than Kyaw (locally called Haishshu Rata)’ yesterday afternoon. Then, they summoned the local figureheads and representatives of the village for a meeting related to the NVC at the village administration office at around 2:30 pm.
Some local figureheads attended the meeting, while the most skipped it, according to a local source. The Rakhine state minister ordered the villagers through the meeting to accept the NVC. A Rohingya cleric as well as other figureheads that attended the meeting questioned and opposed the order.
After the meeting was over, at around 6:00 pm of the day, the Border Guard Police from the Region 7 Camp conducted raids on the residences of the six Rohingya figureheads that had been absent in the meeting and arrested five of them (i.e. six figureheads). Meanwhile, the Border Guards arrested the wife of another figurehead as he was not present in his house at the time of the raids. They detained her in the police camp until her husband came and handed himself over to the BGP to release her.
Three of them released later having forced them to agree to accept the NVCs.
They are:
1) Lalu (30), Jamil
2) Nabi Uddin (50)
3) Fayazu (70), Nurul Jamal
Meanwhile, three others have still been detained in the BGP. They are:
1) Dr. Rashid (75)
2) Sayedullah (52), Moghul (he has been detained since he surrendered himself to release his wife on February 19 evening.)
3) Sayedullah (70), Ali Akhbar
The Rohingya people as a whole categorically reject the NVC as it is meant to issue to the foreigners recently arrived in Myanmar and valid for only two years. Therefore, accepting these cards will automatically deprive the Rohingya people of their indigenous status with the identity ‘Rohingya,’ disqualify their citizenship rights by birth.
Additional Report: The Myanmar government has severely restricted the movement of Rohingya people in Maungdaw for refusing to accept the NVC. The BGP is not allowing the people to go past the checkposts across Maungdaw without NVCs in their possessions.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

Monday, 30 January 2017

Joint Statement on the assassination of U Ko Ni.

Date: 29 January 2017

We, the following signatories, strongly condemn the tragic assassination of U Ko Ni, an expert in constitutional law and a legal advisor for Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), outside Yangon airport today (29th Jan 2017). U Ko Ni was assassinated upon his arrival from the official visit to
Jakarta, led by Information Minister Pe Myint, to study peaceful and
interfaith life in Indonesia.

U Ko Ni is the only Muslim, holding advisory position to NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, he is the one who has expertise on the critical analysis of successive Myanmar government’s discriminatory laws against Rohingya and Myanmar Muslim minority. Furthermore, U Ko Ni was widely considered in Myanmar as main legal advisor who managed to penetrate the military drafted constitutions which bar Aung San Suu Kyi from being the President of Myanmar to be Aung San Suu Kyi the head of the state as State Counsellor. Therefore, we strongly believe that the assassination of U Ko Ni is a calculated political killing. We also believe this is the threat to the democracy and peaceful co-existence of multi-faith and multi-ethnic community in Myanmar.

We are deeply saddened and shocked. We believe that the loss of such a prominent human rights champion is shocking for all peace loving people across Myanmar in general, for Muslims in particular. We offer our heart-felt condolences to the family of U Ko Ni and his friends. We assure you that we will be mourning with you during these sad days, and will pray for the healing of this deep loss. There can never be any justification for political violence and terrorism.

We consider U Ko Ni as the champion and hero of human rights for ethnic minorities in Myanmar.

We urge the government of Myanmar, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to hold a “state funeral ceremony” for U Ko Ni. We also urge Aung San Suu Kyi to form an independent investigation commission to transparently investigate the bottom of the assassination immediately. All those responsible for this assassination must be investigated and brought into justice as soon as possible.

We also request Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the government of Myanmar to  provide safety and security to all people in Myanmar irrespective of race and religion.

For more information,

Dr. Wakar Uddin (ARU), + 1 8147 774498

MP U Shwe Maung (AiPAD), + 1 3307856603

Dr. Anita Schug (ERC), + 4915750685496

Dr. Hla Kyaw (ERC), +31652358202

Signatories:

Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU)

Arakan Institute for Peace and Development (AiPAD)

Arakan Rohingya Youth Association (ARYA)

Burmese Rohingya Association of North America (BRANA)

The European Rohingya Council (ERC)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Maungdaw — A Myanmar Border Guard Policeman (BGP) robbed and beat a poor Rohingya woman in southern Maungdaw on January 15, a local source has reported.

The policeman robbed Kyat 60,000 and a nose ring worth Kyat 50,000 from the victim woman identified as Shashidah (25), daughter of U Ali Hussein, from the village of ‘Kyaung’Taung (Gora Hali)’ in southern Maungdaw.
It has been learnt that it was about 3:00 PM when got body-searched and robbed by the policeman on her way back home from her parents’ home in the village of ‘Udaung.’
“Ms. Shamshidah and her family is facing financial hardships. So, she went her parents to borrow some money. On her way back home, she encountered with a policeman from the BGP post between Gora Hali and Udaung passing by her on a motorcycle. He stopped her and searched her body.
So, he found Kyat 60,000 in her, which she borrowed from her parents and one nose ring. He robbed them all. When the woman demanded them back, he beat him mercilessly”, said a local Rohingya in the region.
When the village in-charge of ‘Kyaung Taung’ asked the policeman to return the woman her belongings, the policeman posed death threats even to him (the village-charge).
Later, the village in-charge lodged a complaint to the commander of the military infantry unit (nearby the mountain) in the village, some military personnel arrived at the (Kyaung Taung) BGP post and made the policeman return the money to the poor lady. However, the policeman didn’t return her her nose ring refusing that he hadn’t robbed it.
The same policeman beat a Rohingya man identified as Abdullah (son of) Abu Siddique from ‘Kanpoo’ village on the same day.
Although they are the Rohingya people in northern Maungdaw that have been under siege and continual assaults of the Myanmar armed forces for months, the people in southern Maungdaw too are frequently subjected to arbitrary arrests, tortures and loots.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Maungdaw — The Myanmar authorities accompanying Ms. Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar who is on a four-day visit in Arakan, duped her into visiting a wrong village in southern Maungdaw last Saturday (Jan 14), it has been reported.


On Saturday morning, the UN Rapporteur set off to meet the villagers of ‘Koetankauk (Dounsay Fara) in Rathedaung Township as initially scheduled. However, the authorities took her to the village of ‘Thawan Chaung’ in southern Maungdaw bypassing ‘KoeTankauk’ (in northern Rathedaung). 
She came to know she was in a wrong place when she asked the villagers of Thawan Chaung after being in the village. Angered with the accompanying authorities double-crossing her, she left the place and didn’t return to ‘KoeTankauk’ village again. 
On Sunday (Jan 15) morning, she visited the violence-hit northern Maungdaw region which has been sealed off since the Myanmar military began offensives on the Rohingya civilians in the region on October 9, 2016.
Deceived by the Myanmar Authorities once earlier, she asked the authorities to stop accompanying her in northern Maungdaw and instead, she chose to visit a few Rohingya villages in the region on her own accompanied only by her interpreters.
She visited the village of Kyikanpyin (locally known as Hawar Bil) and met up with the villagers especially women. After that, she visited Wapeik (Wabek) village but couldn’t meet anyone as the village had been deserted by the villagers due to brutal operations by the Myanmar armed forces (i.e. the Military and the Border Guard Police).
Post that, she visited a few other Rohingya villages such as KyetYoePyin (Kiyari Ferang), PyaungPaik (Haant Gojja Fara), Ngakura (Nagpura) and Sinthaepyin (Haanti Fara). 
During the visits by the UN Rapporteur especially without any members of Myanmar armed force accompanying her , the victims in the region were able to open up to her how the Myanmar armed forces torched their homes, unlawfully killed hundreds of innocent people, raped more than 200 women, arbitrarily arrested hundreds of civilians and plundered their properties. It has been learnt that Ms. Yanghee Lee got chance to also talk to some victim women who have become pregnant after being raped by the Myanmar forces.
Some locals in Maungdaw have raised their concerns over the possible distortions in interpretations by a female interpreter named Ms. Khet Khet that accompanied the UN Rapporteur during the visits. The interpreter is a Rakhine woman known for being an anti-Muslim racist remarks on the Rohingya during her term with UNHCR as a Community Development Facilitator in Arakan State.
Ms. Lee’s trip to assess the human rights situation in Arakan will end today and overall it could be considered successful one.

About Me

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Maung daw, Arakan state, Myanmar (Burma)
I am an independent man who voted to humanitarian aid.