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An Account of a Pregnant Rohingya Woman Tortured and Killed in Sittwe Hospital

By Saed Stw, Sittwe (Akyab) township

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mustafa Begum (Left) say that Zuhrah Kahtun was tortured, starved and killed by the doctors at the hospital. The father of Zuhrah Khatun (Right) looks sad, depressed and hopeless.
Mustafa Begum (Left) say that Zuhrah Kahtun was tortured, starved and killed by the doctors at the hospital. The father of Zuhrah Khatun (Right) looks sad, depressed and hopeless.

By Saed Stw, Sittwe (Akyab) township

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Zuhra Khatun (daughter of) Abdul Amin (age 18) was an internally displaced Rohingya of camp no. H-74 at Ohn Taw Gyi (Baariza Fara) IDP camps in Sittwe (Akyab) township. She was having labour pains and unable to deliver baby. So, she was admitted to Dar-Paing Clinic for treatment at 4:00PM on 15th April 2014. But she didn’t recover.

Later, doctor in charge of the clinic said that there were twin-dead babies in her womb and he was unable to do necessary operation in the clinic. Thus, the doctor referred her to go to Sittwe General Hospital for the operation. Her parents initially didn’t agree to send her to the hospital because authority at the hospital kills Rohingya patients instead curing them. However, the helpless parents eventually had to send her to the hospital hoping she would recover from the pains.

One Police with some Security Forces arrived at the clinic by a car. They told her parents she would recover and be discharged from the hospital in two days and hence, asked them not to worry. And the patient was taken to the hospital.

Mustafa Begum (daughter of) Mohammed (Age 45), a displaced Rohingya of camp H-45 at Ohn Taw Gyi (1), accompanied the patient as her caretaker. They arrived at the Sittwe Hospital at 5:00PM on 15th April 2014. As soon as they got to the hospital, Zuhra Khatun, the patient, was taken into operation theatre. Doctors at the hospital stunned her for surgeries and so she was in unconscious state until 11:00AM on 16th April 2014.

Then, she regained consciousness and was taken to her caretaker, Mustafa Begum. There, Mustafa Begum saw bruises and scratches on her (the patient’s) face resulting from punching and beating. They did Caesarean Section to her and took babies out of her womb. A doctor used to come to the patient only to agitate the wounds on her womb using doctor’s tools to cause more injuries to her. Her caretaker frequently requested the doctor not to cause injuries to the patient. However, the doctor gave royal ignorance to her request.

After Caesarean Section to Zuhrah Khatun had been done, a hospital cleaner arrived and laid the dead bodies of the babies (packed in plastic) on the floor. The cleaner asked Mustafa Begum to throw the dead bodies in the mortuary of the hospital. Mustafa replied that she dared not go alone to the mortuary and requested a companion. Upon that, the cleaner kicked her and as she fell down on the floor. Then, the cleaner went herself to throw the corpses into the mortuary.

Furthermore, doctors and nurses in the hospital didn’t let Mustafa feed Zuhrah Khatun a drop of water.

Four days after the admission of Zuhrah Khatun to the hospital, another Rohingya patient from a Pauktaw IDP camp was admitted to the hospital. Some foods for this patient used to be brought from Aung Mingalar Quarter. So, some of this patient’s foods were shared to Mustafa Begum. However, the hospital authority didn’t allow Mustafa to feed Zuharah Khatun any food even before her death.

At 4:00PM on 24th April 2014, a doctor arrived at Zuhrah Khatun’s room and started agitating her wounds with tools as usual. Zuhrah Khatun, the patient, pleaded the doctor not to agitate her wounds. The doctor didn’t listen and kept agitating. The patient shouted and cried out of severe pain. The doctor got angry. He gave her an injection in anger. As soon as he gave her the injection, she had to take her last breathe and face an untimely demise.

Note: This account is written as exactly as it was narrated by the caretaker of the patient, Mustafa Begum.

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