By HN MDW
Saturday, June 28, 2014 ׀ Maungdaw, Arakan State
Police on Friday ordered to infinitely close down the Central Mosque in Maungdaw stripping off Rohingya Muslims’ right to freedom of worship, according to local Rohingya Muslims in Maungdaw.
Myanmar Authority closed down many mosques all over Arakan state especially after June 2012 violence violating Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18. Maungdaw Central Mosque known as ‘Munchi-r-Masjid’ in the downtown of Maungdaw has been one of the mosques closed down since then.
Last Friday, right before the Muslims’ Holy Month of Ramadhan (Fasting Month), Maungdaw Police Station Chief raided the mosque under the pretext that there were people praying and repairment going on in the mosque.
“At 5PM on June 27, Maungdaw Police Station Chief, Administrator of Quarter One and Administrator Quarter Two raided the Central Mosque saying that they had information that there were people praying in the mosque. And the mosque was being repaired. With them were the mosque caretaker, U Salim, and Typist U Myo.
They didn’t follow Islamic religious rule while they were stepping in the mosque area. And later, the Police Chief said that the mosque would be closed down infinitely. If anyone is found praying in the mosque, he/she will be punished severely and imprisoned. It happened to be right before Ramadhan. They are violating our rights to worship” said a local Rohingya Muslim requesting not to be named.
The central mosque has been one of the oldest and most sacred mosques in Maungdaw Township.
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