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Six Rohingyas Arrested and Tortured Due to Lack of Township Travel Pass

By Maung Z

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Maungdaw, Arakan: On 14th June 2014, Border Security Police (BGP) arbitrarily arrested six Rohingyas hail from Maungdaw while travelling Buthidaung Township. The police released two of them extorting Kyat 300,000 from each of them.

“Maungdaw Township and Buthidaung Township are just 16-miles far from each other. However, Myanmar Government subject Rohingyas to take an arbitrary Township Travel Pass called ‘Form 4’ to travel in these two townships. Obtaining this pass requires two to three days on top of necessity to pay money to the authority. Besides, there is a check-post at every-four-mile on Maungdaw-Buthidaung Highway. And travelling to other townships for Rohingyas in these regions is a distant dream.

Around 9:30AM on 14th June 2014, six local Rohingyas of Maungdaw were travelling to Buthidaung by a motor-vehicle to buy vegetables. They were stopped by Police at six-mile-check-point. They were unable to obtain the travel pass due to shortage of time. They showed *White Card to the Police. Therefore, the police arrested them and started torturing them.

The police released two of them having extorted Kyat 300,000. Other fours have still been being tortured at the Police camp.

Of the four people still detained, Akram (son of) Iliyaz (of age 17) hails from Quarter 5 Maungdaw was arrested while he was on his way to see his father in Buthidaung prison. Their family is very poor. His father was imprisoned in 2012 under arbitrary accusation of involving in torching Rakhines’ houses during June of the year.

On 15th June 2014 morning, Akram’s brother borrowed Kyat 300,000 from his villagers. He went to the check-post at Six-Mile to get his brother released. The Border Guard Police demanded Kyat 400,000 from him for his brother’s release. He was unable to pay the money because they are very poor. So, he had to return home without his brother” said a local Rohingya of Quarter 5.

“However, previously, authority used to allow going through check-posts by taking Kyat 500/Kyat 1000. However, after recent population census in which Rohingyas were not included as they tried to self-identify their ethnicity, authority have restricted their movements very severely” he added.

*White Card is a temporary registration card issued to Rohingyas. And their travel is very restricted.

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