Friday, 29 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A famous religious leader was arrested by Burma’s border security force Nasaka on April 25, on the allegation that he has a Bangladeshi mobile phone, said a close relative on condition of anonymity.  

The religious leader is Khari Moulvi Nurul Islam (41), son of Razak Ali, from Kunnsi Pin village of Nasaka area No.3 of Maungdaw Township. He is a teacher of Kunnsi Pin Moqtab (primary Arabic school).

On that day, at about 10 am, a group of Nasaka from Nasaka area No.3, along with a Sarapa (Military Intelligence) officers and a police officer of Nantha Daung Nasaka camp went to a village mosque where the victim was present. They tried to arrest him, but the victim fled and the Nasaka personnel chased him. However, later, he was arrested.

Meanwhile, Nasaka collaborators Shah Alam, Aman Ullah, Salim Ullah, foremr village Chairman Sha Geullah and current village Chairman U Poe Sein were present. The Nasaka collaborators Shah Alam and Sha Geullah accompanied by Sarapa officer put a mobile phone inside the victim’s bag while his bed and bag were taken away by the Nasaka from the mosque. The victim went to that mosque with his bed for Tabaligue (religious gathering) in the mosque, said a local Moulvi.  

After showing people that a mobile was found in the victim’s bag, the arrested was brought to Nantha Daung Nasaka camp where he was detained in stocks. After that he was sent to the Nasaka Headquarters of Kawar Bill. From Nasaka headquarters, on August 22, the detainee was sent to Maungdaw exit/out Nasaka camp. After being kept for two days there, he was again sent to the local Nasaka camp. Again, after two days, he was sent to Maungdaw exit/ out Nasaka camp, from where he was produced in Maungdaw court. A case was filed against him for having a Bangladeshi mobile phone. He was sent to Maungdaw police station.

The victim was tortured severely by Nasaka during detention for a confessional statement that he was holding a mobile phone, but he refused. His two front teeth were broken, said a local youth.

However, after two months in the police station, he was released on August 27 by a court order. He was detained for three months and three days.  The mobile case was false, so the court rejected the case. But, he spent Kyat 2.1 million for his release. The money was given to Nasaka and Maungdaw court.

At present, Khari Nurul Islam is penniless because all his property was sold for his release, said a local villager.  

A local businessman said, “By secretly putting a mobile phone in the victim’s bag, the victim was tortured, detained and money extorted. This is human rights violation.”

The condition of the Maungdaw exit/out Nasaka camp is very bad. The room of the camp is very hot as there is no window. It has only holes and a tin sheet roof.  Detainees are not fed, so family members have to send food to the detention center.  Family members have to pay Kyat 500 each time to give food at the center. At first, the detainee has to pay Kyat 25,000 as entrance fees, and a police officer takes Kyat 3,500 per head per month. The authorities at the center take electricity and water bill from the detainees, said another close relative of the victim.