Monday, 25 May 2020

By Tin Soe

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A Rohingya woman died while in custody at Maungdaw Police Station yesterday, according to an aide from the police station.


Ms. Hamida, the wife of Yousuf, hailed from Myoma Kyanyindan Village. She delivered a child at Maungdaw General Hospital on January 19. Personnel from Maungdaw Police Station, led by Sub-Inspector Aung Kyaw Than, took the woman into custody after she delivered, the aide reported.

“Dr. Kyaw Maung Maung Thein, the head of the hospital, released Ms. Hamida from the hospital after she delivered her child. The doctor didn’t say anything to the police about Ms. Hamida having just delivered and needing medical assistance.”

The police kept Ms. Hamida and her newborn baby in custody without providing any medical attention. The woman died the morning of January 20. A police officer and police personnel took her body back to the hospital in a jeep to keep secret the fact that she had died while in police custody, said a local elder from Maungdaw.

“Sub-Inspector Aung Kyaw Than requested Dr. Kyaw Maung Maung Thein to issue a certificate stating that Ms. Hamida died in the hospital after delivering her baby. The police officer handed over the body of Ms. Hamida to her relatives to take home and bury according to Rohingya custom in their village,” the elder added.

According to an officer from the police station, three months ago, Ms. Hamida was arrested while police personnel, led by Sub-Inspector Aung Kyaw Than, raided her house with information that her husband Yousuf was a drug peddler. While police raided the house, Yousuf was not at home, but police found seven Yaba [methamphetamine] tablets.

The police arrested Ms. Hamida, who was pregnant at the time, but told her that if her husband appeared at police station, she would be released.

“After one week, Yousuf appeared at the police station and confessed that he was a drug addict and the Yaba tables were for his personal use. But the police didn’t release Ms. Hamida and kept her in police custody.”

“Now, Ms. Hamida has died and the police have released her dead body and newborn baby. But the police are still keeping Yousuf in police custody without any further evidence.”

It has been learned that Maung Nu, a drug agent of the district police head, wants Yousuf to work for him in the drug business. However, Yousuf has declined to work for him, so Maung Nu used a trap to pressure Yousuf.

“The drug traffickers and police officers are only thinking about their business and how to get easy money. They don’t care about anybody else, and will destroy everything that hurts their business,” said a politician from Maungdaw.