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Eight Rohingyas Imprisoned for Refusal of ‘Bengali’ as Ethnic Identity

By Rohingya Eye

Maungdaw, Arakan (Rohingya Vision) — Maungdaw Township High Court handed 2-year-imprisonment each to eight innocent Rohingyas on Tuesday, say the locals.

It has been learnt that they were arrested for their refusal to be registered as Bengali during the Myanmar’s nationwide population census in March-April and subsequently charged under the section ‘353’ which deals with Prevention of Government Servants from performing their duties.

All of them are the locals of Kyauk Hle Kar village in northern Maungdaw. They are identified to be:

  • Zahir Ahmed (son of) Abdu Subhahan, 50
  • Noor Alam (son of) Sayedur Rahman, 42
  • Mohammed Noor (son of) Noor Alam, 25
  • Idiris (son of) Zahir Ahmed, 18
  • Majid (son of) Mohammed Alam, 17
  • Zafar (son of) Noor Alam, 25
  • Hf Shobu Alam (son of) Mohammed Akbar, 28
  • Amin (son of) Ahmed Kabir, 18

“Eight people including youths and under-age were arrested in Kyauk Hle Kar village in the early April and charged under section 353. They didn’t cause any problems to the way of the government staffs during the population survey.

According to the regulations of the census, everyone has the right to identify with the ethnic name they like.

They peacefully refused to be registered as Bengali because the government staffs refused to register them as Rohingya. So, they committed no offense” said a local Rohingya observer of the trial.

“During the trial, the family members of the people were not allowed to attend as the observers. No lawyers provided for the side of the accused. Only the complainants (the Border Guard Police), Prosecutors, Accused and Judge were present in the court. It was a closed-door trial.

Therefore, the trial was extremely unfair” he added.

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