By Rohingya Eye and Rohingya Mirror | December 14, 2016
Maungdaw — Many Rohingya villagers were arrested and tortured by the Burmese troops in Northern Maungdaw on Monday (Dec 12) for speaking to the (Burmese) Investigation Commission after it had left the region, it has been reported.
Amidst the visit by the Investigation Commission formed by the Burmese (Myanmar) President Htin Kyaw to the region, the Burmese troops indulged in crimes against the Rohingya villagers such as arbitrary arrests, tortures and rapes in several places.
At around 10:00 am on Monday, the investigation commission visited the village of ‘YeKhaeChaungKhwaSone’ locally known as ‘BorGoziBil’ and spoke the villagers coming out in crowd. The villagers told the commission how their homes were burnt down; they were subjected to arbitrary arrests, tortures, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance; and the village women/girls were raped by the Burmese soldiers. The commission members duly listened to them and left at around 12:00 noon.
Later, reports emerged that the Burmese soldiers shot videos while the Rohingya villagers speaking to the commission members at YeKhaeChaungKhwaSone and arrested six villagers — who appeared in the video working as interpreters — immediately after the commission had left.
The villagers arrested are identified as:
(1) Zafar Hussein (72), s/o Abdu Sattor
(2) Mohammed Salam (50), s/o Nazir Hussein
(3) Abu Siddik (15), s/o Abul Hair
(4) Bashir Ahmad (70), s/o Hakim Ali
(5) Saddam (17), s/o Abul Hair
(6) Abul Hashim (53), s/o Nazir Hussein
A woman at the village of ‘YeKhae Chaung KhwaSone’ told the commission how her fellow village women were raped by the soldiers on November 12 and 13. She was summoned by the soldiers later using the six arrestees as pawns and forced to say before camera that the statement she gave to the commission was false.
They were severely tortured and released at around 4:00 pm on December 12.
Of them, 71-year-old Jafar Hussein and 50-year-old Mohammed Salam tortured by the soldiers are in critical condition as they are denied from access to any medical treatments.
“I wonder why the soldiers are still staging these fake video dramas when the Investigation Commission itself is widely viewed as a commission formed by the President U Htin Kyaw to whitewash their crimes. And the commission is led by the Vice President 1 General Myint Swe, too. Perhaps the military didn’t even wish the civilian members of the commission to know how badly inhumanely they (the military) treated the Rohingya villagers” said U Aye Myint, a human rights observer based in Maungdaw.
At around 12:30 pm on Monday after the visit to YeKhaeChaungKhwaSone, the commission visited the village of ‘DarGyiZar’ locally known as ‘ShudoGoziBil,’ where the village administrator, U Tun Maung (who is known as an extremist Rakhine), interfered and prevented the villagers from fully disclosing details of the military atrocities. So, in the brief meeting, the villagers got time to submit the details of only 25 people of the many villagers shot dead or slaughtered by the soldiers. It’s a village which was almost entirely burnt down by the soldiers on November 13 as 362 out of 407 houses were razed.
The commission did ask the villagers about their needs and the villagers replied ‘we need to rebuild our homes at our original places and want to live peacefully.’ The commission promised the government would rebuild their homes and compensate for the lost properties.
Ironically enough, while the commission members were giving hopes to the villagers for their future, the military, the Border Guard Police (BGP) and Rakhine extremists were simultaneously plundering the neighboring Rohingya villages such as KyaGaungTaung (Rabailla) and YeKhaeChaungKhwaSone — where the commission had paid a visit to earlier in the morning — and committing rapes against the village women.
Our correspondent in the region reported that the Burmese soldiers dragged three girls from YeKhaeChaungKhwaSone into the nearby forest after the commission had left the village on around noon on December 12 and freed them only in the evening.
Two minor girls and a mother of three children were also gang-raped by the soldiers at KyaGaungTaung on December 12. (Read the report: Sexual Violence Committed by Military in Northern Maungdaw)
Post the visit to the DarGyiZar, the commission paid a visit to the village of KyetYoePyin locally known as Kiyari Ferang.
As the Investigation Commission has now left Maungdaw, the human rights activists around the globe expect them to publish a report successfully whitewashing and concealing the serious crimes against humanity committed by the Burmese soldiers.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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