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Block Management Committee Chairman Beaten By Police In Nayapara

Nayapara camp (Photo: Flicker)

RB News 
March 21, 2014

Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh - The Chairman of the Block Management Committee in Nayapara refugee camp was beaten and held by police on March 19, 2014 at around 6:30pm. 

The victim of the brutal attack by police was Chairman Mohammed Isaq MRC# Z-2650, from Shed 717 Room 1, Block D. Local refugees told RB News that Isaq was sitting at a tea stall within the camp when three policemen approached him, harassed him and beat him mercilessly. He was held by police for some hours before being released. 

The culprits of the attack are Police Nike, named Zakir, and two other local police named Kayum and Zokir. It is common practise by Police in these refugee camps. To arrest and hold people on false charges as a means to extort the little money that they do have. 

Refugees are powerless against the police and have to secure the money before being released. Often bargaining with them to come to a settlement agreement of whatever money the victims can manage to provide. There is a forced culture of borrowing money for food amongst neighbours and family within the camps and instances of arbitrary arrests are no different. So the victims would beg for money and offer what they can.

Each year the UNCHR elects 11 refugees from each of the 7 Blocks within Nayapara camp including a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. A total of 77 refugees oversee activity within their respective Blocks. Basically they are community leaders within the camp that will hold the position for a one year span. 

The current Block Management Committee was elected in late November, 2013. According to locals, the police treat the committee members with less respect then one would give to a dog. Consistent reports are found of harassment to these elected people within the camp. 

After Chairman Isaq was attacked the Block Management Committee reported the incident to both the CIC (Camp-In-Charge) and UNCHR office. No action has been taken. Which of course this is no surprise. Yet another situation where the heavily persecuted and stateless Rohingya community will never see justice.

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