Post UN Special Rapporteur Arakan Visit: Arrests, Torture & Extortion Continue (03.08.12)
The following is an update from our source in Arakan, Burma.
UN special rapporteur Tomas Quintana visited Maungdaw on 1st of August. He met with some Maungdaw locals amidst other Government officials. The local Rohingya Muslims could not have a chance to explain their grievances but Quintana told them that he understood the sentiments hidden inside. He may have possibly talked to two UNHCR local employees in Alay Thangyaw sub-town,12 miles south of Maungdaw and they could have explained a lot of what has actually happened.
He flew to Sittwe and the next day he came to Buthidaung and visited the jail. He met some UNHCR local but senior employees who are in jail for alleged involvement in the violence.It is believed that Quintana got some true facts from the people he met in his visit.Those who met Quintana separately had to flee to avoid arrests.
The situation has not improved. Arrest,torture and money extortion are happened daily basis. Daily deaths are reported in Maungdaw police station and Buthidaung Jail. Before Quintana's arrival to the Buthidaung jail, all Muslim inmates who are arbitrarily arrested were shifted to other locations and some Rakhines were put there as prisoners.
There is another concentration camp in Maungdaw where many Muslims (old and young boys) are kept. This place is the Maungdaw district electric supply compound. In that compound there are some new buildings built for the staff, but now these buildings have been turned into rooms for the Muslim captives. Every night torture and beatings occur and loud crying voices are heard by the surrounding Muslims.
Some 10 Muslim dead bodies were buried in graves in Myoma Kayindan (Shikdar Para). This village is located one mile to the south-east of Maungdaw. At the southeast edge of the village there is a compound where BAJ ( Bridge Asia Japan), a Japanese NGO is housed. At the south of this compound there is a paddy field that is frequented less by locals . In that place the 10 dead bodies were buried by the security forces yesterday (2nd August). It is believed that these bodies were taken out from the police station of Maungdaw.
Today 2 helicopters landed at Maungdaw and the 2nd military Chief was said to be on board. The Myanmar president Thein Sein left behind in Sittwe to meet with state level officials and local Rakhines. The full outcome of the visits and its repercussions are not yet known.