Monday, 25 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Personnel from Burma’s border security force from Nasaka Area No. 6 continue to extort money from Rohingya villagers in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, Burma, by making false and fabricated allegations against the villagers, said a religious leader from Maungdaw on condition of anonymity.

“For instance, on July 24, Maulana Abu Taher (38), the son of Abdu Karim, who hails from Kyauk Lagaar Ywar Thit of Maungdaw Township, was arrested by the Nasaka personnel of Nasaka Area No. 6, over the allegation that he had made an extension to his house without permission. He was detained at the camp.”

“On that day, the same Nasaka personnel arrested Maulana Jamal (40), son of Abdu Matalab, fromthe same village, over the accusation that he was holding a mobile phone. He was also brought to the Nasaka camp and detained.”

“Besides, Fayazul Alam (20), son of Sultan, who hails from the same village, was also arrested by the said Nasaka on July 24, over the allegation that he did not inform his guest list to the authorities. But he was released the following day, after paying 500,000 kyats.”

In addition, Nasaka Commander Major San Win Khine of Nasaka Area No. 6 also has also collected money from villagers who have more than two children. Recently, he arrested ten villagers from his area over the accusation that they have more than two children. The arrestees were severely tortured in the camp to coerce them to give money quickly. The commander extorted 1.5 million kyats from them and took an additional 70,000, 80,000, 100,000 and 200,000 kyats per person according to their financial condition, said a local schoolteacher.

“Hafez Noor Mohamed (30), son of Shek Mohamed, who hails from Nari Bill south village, was arrested by the same Nasaka officer on July 16, over the allegation that he has more than two children. However, he was set free the following day after paying money.”

“In a similar way, on July 17, Maulana Mohamed Amin (40), who hails from Sarfaddin Bill Village, was also arrested by the same Nasaka personnel for possessing more than two children. However, he was released on that day after paying 80,000 kyats.”

A local elder said, “The Nasaka personnel extort money from the villagers by many means. This is purely a kind of political persecution against the Rohingya people, aiming to economically cripple the Rohingya community.”

The Nasaka authorities have restricted the Rohingya community from having more than two children since 2005. However, the present arrestees have included those who were married before 2005. In fact, the Nasaka has the right to arrest the people who married after 2005, said a local leader who declined to be named.