Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazaar: Two unregistered Arakanese Rohingya refugee women were raped in the forest by five local goons on March 27, when they were returning with firewood, said a relative of the victim on condition of anonymity.  

The victims were identified as Ms Begum (22) (not real name) and Didar Begum (21) (not real name) of Kutupalong makeshift camp, which is situated near the official Kutupalong camp. 

Early that day, the victims along with other refugees went to the forest to collect firewood as a means of survival and to feed their children as their husbands are now in Cox’s Bazaar jail, said another refugee.

On their way back, they were stopped by five local goons, who took them into the deep bushes and raped them. Other refugee woodcutters rescued them in a critical condition. On seeing the woodcutters, the culprits ran away.

Ms Begum has two children and Didar has one.

Like Ms Begum and Didar, many unregistered Arakanese Rohingya refugees have been facing survival problems in Kutupalong makeshift camp since the arrest of refugees in January 2010. Many refugee women go to the forest to collect firewood for selling in the camp, but there is no security for them, said committee member from the camp.

According to sources, nearly 200 unregistered Rohingya refugees are languishing in Cox’s Bazaar jail.