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One Man Dead After Police Arrest and Beat Rohingyas in Sittwe After Firing On Them

RB News
August 6, 2014

Sittwe, Arakan -- Police Open Fire on Villagers from Thandawli village, Sittwe IDP camps, in Arakan State, Myanmar. Several Rohingya were arrested and one man has died, after police crackdown on the village for refusing to turn over a woman who reportedly eloped with her husband.

Police arrived at Thandawli village after complaints that a woman there was being kept from a marriage to the son of an inn owner at nearby Manzhi Junction. The owner of the Inn complained to police after the village rejected the marriage between the Inn Keepers son, and brought the woman back to Thandawli, where she was from. Once the police arrived the villagers refused to turn the woman over to the Inn Keeper, and were reported to have protected her from being taken. At 9:40 PM Police shot and killed 29 year old Shomshul Alam, son of Mogul, who had no connection to the woman, or knowledge of what was happening. It was reported that prior to this that false rumors had been spread by police that the son of the Inn Keeper had been killed, and Shomshul was falsely accused of this before he was shot. He died instantly, and photographs suggest he was shot in the head. Shomshul’s body was removed by police and taken with them.

Then, at around 10pm, when Police were unable to take the woman they attempted to do so by force, first firing shots above the villagers, and then arresting beating several villagers. The total number arrested is currently hard to determine as most of the villagers scattered and fled after police fired towards them and then began making arrests. A young man named Yunus, who runs a small internet cafe near Thandawli, was taken from his bed while he was sleeping in his shop and beaten by police, although he had nothing to do with the events prior, and did not even know about them. Another young boy, only 12 years old, was beaten before he escaped police. The boy reported that he witnessed the police killing Shomshul Alam.

Police reportedly returned twice to Thandawli, at 10:30PM and 12AM and shot towards the village in the air. They also returned once more at 1AM. As Myanmar is currently conducting an operation to register Rohingya as Bengali, and attempting to force and intimidate Rohingya to not claim their ethnic name it is strongly suspected by Rohingya that this attack may have been taken as an opportunity to show brute force to the Rohingya in Sittwe IDP camps, and cause them fear of police and government.

Saed Arkani contributed in reporting.

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