The below-named Rohingya organisations strongly disapprove the statement, dated 14 January 2012, of the Burmese Home Minister Lt. General Ko Ko where he said, “the 13 persons arrested form Arakan border last year, for having connection with Taliban and taking explosive training, will be further detained.”
The arrested persons are innocent Muslim Rohingya villagers. They have had neither links with any terrorist groups or Taliban nor had they taken any explosive training. They are peace-loving people held in high esteem and honour in the society.
Following a rumour that two persons from Bangladesh entered and held meetings with villagers in the border area of Kammongseik in Maungdaw Township in March 2010, Nasaka forces arrested about 80 Rohingya villagers and inhumanly tortured them into admitting links to insurgents.
During general elections held on 7 November 2010, there were clashes between two rival groups of SPDC backed United Solidarity Development Party (USDP) and Rohingya political party of National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD). Most villagers supported the NDPD candidates for which the local authorities, Nasaka collaborators and USDP supporters were very angry. All the arrestees supported the NDPD and so it was done for revenge.
The Nasaka director Lt. Col. Aung Gyi in a public meeting held in the madrassa of Maungnama village on 21 March 2011 said, “the rumour of ‘Taliban link’ is a false report. It is a creation out of the rivalry between the supporters of USDP and NDPD. After investigation, all innocent people arrested on suspicion will be released soon on the recommendations of the village authorities and religious leaders.” Despite this politically motivated cases were framed against them under Sections 17(1) and 17(2) of Unlawful Association Act under the instruction of the authorities. They were tried in Maungdaw district court. Quoting a lawyer of Maungdaw the Irrawaddy reported on 8 April 2011, “Although the trial is being presided over by the local court, the Nasaka is taking a leading role in the case.” So justice could not be done to the defendants due to executive interference.
The Narinjara, an online electronic media of the Rakhine community based in Bangladesh, is largely blameable to intricate and provoke the matter by affixing to its report a highly controversial and unrelated picture of masked Taliban fighters of Afghanistan, with intent to confuse them with Rohingyas, in order to mislead the minds of the people and to make it more sensitive, with racial hatred. Here its editor had violated the media ethic and the principles of freedom of speeches which need the judgement of right and wrong.
It was a false tale with false alarm. The allegations against them are largely unsubstantiated. The head of the Thailand based Arakan Project Chris Lewa told DVB that “there was no evidence to link the group to Mujahideen group”.
We, therefore, urge upon the government of U Thein Sein to conduct an independent and impartial inquiry in to the case of so-called ‘Taliban link’ in the interest of the rule of law, peace, security and justice. We also request the President to release them on humanitarian grounds.
- National Democratic Party for Human Rights (in exile) Contact: + 33629258793
- Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) + 880-1558486910
- Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan (BRAJ) +8180-30835327
- Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia (BRCA) +61- 433231202
- Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) +44+7888714866
- Rohingya Community in Norway (RCN) +47 92428989