msa December 22, 2016

By Rohingya Mirror | December 22, 2016

Maungdaw — A 13-member media team formed by Myanmar’s Ministry of Information (MOI) visited the northern Maungdaw on Wednesday to look into the reports of the atrocities against the Rohingyas in the region, it has been reported. 

The media/information team was formed with some journalists handpicked by the Information Ministry itself in the backdrop of the international pressure to allow the INDEPENDENT media/journalists in the northern Maungdaw as the reports of the crimes of Genocide against the Rohingya population have been emerging from the region since October 9. 

The media team visited the villages of PyaungPaik (Haant Gojja Fara) and Ngakura (Nagpura) where the civilians had been brutally assaulted by the Myanmar Military and Border Guard Police (BGP). The villagers told the media team all the atrocities committed on them such as how the military and BGP raided their villages, forced them out of their homes to plunder their food stocks and properties, raped/gang-raped the village-women and arbitrarily arrested some civilians subjecting them to enforced disappearances. 

The Border Guard Police and some staffs from Maungdaw Township Administration also tagged along with the media team to the villages raising some reasonable doubts over the media team’s INDEPENDENT ACCESS to the victims. 

The Border Guard Police, involved in the crimes against Rohingya, also tagged along with the media team to the villages raising some reasonable doubts over the media team’s INDEPENDENT ACCESS to the victims. (Photo: State Counselor Office Information Committee Facebook Page)

U Aye Myint, a human rights observer based in Maungdaw explaining the patterns of the Myanmar government’s attempt to conceal of the crimes it’s military, said “after the genocidal operation against the population in northern Maungdaw began on October 9, 2016, the International Community has pressured the Burmese government to allow the three things in the region: 1) the International Investigation Team, 2) the International Media and 3) the humanitarian access. 

“But the government or the military hasn’t allowed any international investigation team or international media lest their crimes should be exposed. Rather, the government formed their own investigation team and media team to look into the crimes committed by its own military. 

“It does two things: it reduces the International pressure and helps them cover-up their crimes. Next thing for the government is to form a humanitarian team on the pretext of helping the displaced and vulnerable people here, provide assistances to two to three people and tell the world that the government is helping. And hence, no longer international humanitarian team is needed in the region.

“The international community is also knowingly letting the Burmese government manipulate with the facts of Genocide.”

It has been learnt that the Border Guard Policemen that went along with them media team took photos of the villagers at PyaungPaik while talking to the media team. Because of that, the villagers expressed their worries of getting arrested, while speaking to Rohingya Vision TV on phone.

In the evening on December 21, the BGP arrested and beat seven people at the village of PyaungPaik demanding the list of the people that talked to the media team. Upon releasing them (the seven people), the BGP farther threatened that the villagers must make the list of the people in a few days or many more villagers would be arrested. 

At NgaKura, the authorities presented some local Hindus — who look like Rohingya and speak the same language as the Rohingyas do — were presented to the media team as the Rohingya people of the village. They (the Hindus pretending to be Rohingya) said to the media team that the military commit rapes and atrocities in the region and hence, it has been peaceful throughout.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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