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Rohingya Youths Face Risk of Arrest for Speaking to UNSC Delegation

UNSC delegation arrive at Naypyidaw airport on April 30, 2018 to meet Suu Kyi [Photo: AFP]

by Zarni Aung (MYARF)

RB News | May 2, 2018

Maungdaw -- Rohingya youths who spoke to the members of the UN Security Council Delegation are now facing the risk of arrest by the Myanmar Military Intelligence Service, sources say.

The UNSC delegation members visited the ‘Refugee-Receiving Camps’ at 'Hla Phoe Kaung, Ngakura and Taung Pyo' in Northern Maungdaw on Tuesday (May 1). They were not allowed to meet with the Rohingya villagers there, it has been reported.

In afternoon, the delegation visited the village of ‘Pantaw Pyin (Nol Boinna)’ -- which is now the last standing Rohingya village in Southern Maungdaw and all other villages to its South were burnt down by the Myanmar military and the Rakhine extremists last year.

There, the delegation spoke to Children, Youth and Women waiting in the last rows instead of the Men prepared and placed in the front rows by the Government to speak to the delegation.

The delegation asked the children and youth "which ethnicity are you and who burned down your homes?" Amidst the fear of being targeted due to the surveillance of the Myanmar Security Forces, the youths dared to reply "Myanmar military and Rakhine extremists burned down our homes. And our ethnicity is Rohingya."

Aerial View of Burnt Rohingya Villages in Maungdaw [Photo: SS from video shared by @KarenPierceUN on Twitter]
After that, the delegation asked “what ID Cards are you holding now?" To which they replied "our grand-parents and parents had three-fold cards also called NRC (National Registration Card). The government has begun confiscating them from us since 1992 which has now made us a people without any ID Cards."

And the delegation asked "and so, why don't you accept NV Cards?" The youth replied "because our forefathers had NRC like any other ethnic people in Myanmar and we are their grand-children. We'll only accept Citizenship Card."

And "how about your movement (travelling around)" asked the delegation. The youth replied "there is a BGP Check-post at the Entry Point of every village. They harass and beat us. So, it's difficult to even go to the downtown now."

The delegation spoke to Rohingya women in the village and left afterwards.

"While the children and the youth were interacting with the UNSC delegation, SaRaPha (Myanmar’s Military Intelligence Service) shot video of them. After the delegation had left the village, SaRaPha scolded the village administrator and began to chase the youth that spoke to the delegation. They are now hiding and could be arrested by the SaRaPha anytime," said a village man on the condition of anonymity.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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