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RB News
June 25, 2018

Maungdaw -- Fears among Rohingya grow as sources within the Myanmar authorities and the Rakhine Buddhist community are circulating rumors that there will be attacks and explosions in (the downtown of) Maungdaw soon.

Suspicious activities and unusual patrollings by the Myanmar troops in Maungdaw are turning the rumors into beliefs, locals say.

"On June 22 evening, locals heard gun-shots from the BGP (Border Guard Police) camp at the Bridge between the downtown of Maungdaw and Myothu Gyi village. On June 24 early morning, the deputy commander and other 30 troops from Battalion 551 patrolled at 'Quarter 5' and the village of 'Myoma Kayintan'. Later, they replaced the BGP at the camp nearby the Bridge between 'Myoma Kayintan' and 'Pantaw Pyin' villages.

Furthermore, BGP personnel from camps in Maungdaw are being transferred and replaced by new ones. Some other BGP are being replaced by the military and the military are increasingly being deployed in the region.

Meanwhile, the locals of 'Sein Nyein Pyar' village in Buthidaung also said that they heard sounds of explosions and gunshots from the forests to its West. However, they were unable to further verify the details.

"We are hearing reports of possible attacks and explosions in the downtown of Maungdaw from the authorities and the Rakhines. They (the authorities) are saying that they have got all the information about what's likely going to happen. At the same time, we are seeing some strangers roaming here in Maungdaw.

"Security forces have also been heavily deployed in Maungdaw. Amidst all these, if any violence takes place, we should say it will happen only because the authorities are allowing it happen" said a human rights activist based in Maungdaw.

ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), a Rohingya rebel group formed and appeared as a direct consequence of the State-led violence against Rohingya in 2012, launched attacks on several Myanmar police posts on August 25, 2017. Using that as pretext and under the banner of counter-insurgency operation, the Myanmar military launched a brutal campaign against the Rohingya population at large mass killing or summarily executing several thousands of civilians, burning down hundreds of villages and raping or gang-raping thousands of women and girls leading to a massive exodus of more 700,000 refugees into neighboring Bangladesh.

The situation in Maungdaw and Buthidaung has started calming down to a certain extent after two third of the Rohingya have been expelled to Bangladesh since last year. Now, reports of a possible violence is increasing panic among the Rohingyas in the region.

[Reported by MYARF; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News

Maungdaw, Arakan State -- The Myanmar government is building flat houses for (Rohingya) Hindus on the farm lands owned by (Rohingya) Muslims in northern Maungdaw, according to reliable sources.

About fifty 24×18 flat houses are now being constructed for the Hindus on the lands confiscated from the Muslims. A source from the Hindu community has added that these flat houses are financially sponsored by the Indian Government.

A human rights activist based in Maungdaw said "Rohingya Muslims and Rohingya Hindus share no history of conflicts. But I see this arbitrary action by the government to build flats for the Hindus on the farm lands owned by the Muslims as opening up a new front of conflict in Arakan State on the religious line. Naturally, some owners of the lands may view the Hindus as encroachers which will result in hatred.

"And this will create the violence in Arakan state more complex in the future. But the more the conflicts in the state, the longer the military can keep the control over the region."

There are Hindu villages in the downtown and the outskirts of Maungdaw. These villages didn't come under attack as the Myanmar armed forces carried out violence against Rohingya Muslims on 25th August 2017 and afterwards. However, the Myanmar Government shifted the Hindus to Sittwe (Akyab) and some others to the 'Maungdaw High School (1)' at 'Myoma Kayindan' village making them pretend as 'Displaced People.'

After they were shifted away from their homes, the Myanmar military and Border Guard Police (BGP); and the Rakhine extremists jointly burned down some Hindu homes nearby 'Dael Fara', a Muslim hamlet at 'Myoma Kayindan' village, which was also burnt down (by the same military and BGP; and the Rakhine extremists). After that, the government has placed some Hindus temporarily on their burned home-ground by erecting make-shift camps. In September last year, the Myanmar government dressed up some of them as Muslims and staged a fake event to portray that 'Muslims are torching their own homes'. Then, the Myanmar Government Spokeperson, Zaw Htay, took to social media to spread propaganda which was exposed later.

"Now, India is sponsoring flat houses for the Hindus and the Myanmar government is building them on the Rohingya farm lands. However, the remaining Rohingya in Myanmar feel hopeless and helpless as they are not getting any help despite that thousands of them have been killed and hundreds of their villages burnt down. On top of that, their lands are being confiscated," said a Rohingya Muslim in Maungdaw asking not to be identified.

[Report by MYARF; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
May 20, 2018

Maungdaw -- Two Rohingya women have been detained by the Myanmar Police over the allegation of illegally returning to the country from the Bangladesh Refugee Camps, according to reliable sources.

The women were detained by the Myanmar anti-trafficking police on May 12, while crossing the bridge of Shujah (Shwe Zar) village in northern Maungdaw.

However, it has been learnt that the women were simply returning home from Bangladesh after having emergency medical surgeries and treatments (in Bangladesh).

"4 months ago, Ma Sufaira, 22, d/o U Mohammed Nasim, from 'Maung Ni hamlet of Myoma Kayintan village,' suffered from bone-fracture in her arm and went to Bangladesh for surgery. The doctor fixed the bone by inserting steel-plate and asked her to re-visit him after 4 months to remove the plate.

"Now, 4 months after, on May 12, as Sufaira along with her sister was returning from Bangladesh after having the 2nd surgery to remove the steel-plate, their taxi was stopped by the anti-trafficking police led by Captain San Min while they were crossing 'the Shujah (Shwe Zar) Bridge' under the allegation of returning home from the refugee camps illegally. The police arrested the 2 women and released the taxi driver after extorting Kyat 100,000. They (the women) have been detained in the Maungdaw Police Detention since then," said a local in Maungdaw.

Our attempts to reach to the Maungdaw Police for comments on this have remained unsuccessful.

However, further reports have verified the CLAIM -- that the 2 women were not the refugees in Bangladesh camps but returning their home after having medical treatments and surgeries in Bangladesh -- with the FACT that they took part in the 'Census (Head-counts)' conducted by the authorities against the Rohingya population in Maungdaw District in 2018 (after over 700,000 people fled to Bangladesh to escape from genocidal violence against Rohingya in 2017).

Furthermore, 2 Rohingya men -- U Yunose, 48, s/o U Khin Maung and U Lala Yar, 33 -- from Myoma Taung Quarter (Quarter 2) returned home after having medical treatments in Bangladesh last week. Two days after their return, Police Captain San Min, the same police officer that has now arrested the 2 women, extorted Kyat 350,000 each from them after accusing them of illegally returning home from the Bangladesh refugee camps.

A human rights activist in Maungdaw anonymously said "these people are not illegally returning home from the Bangladesh camps. They all took part in the Census (head-counts). Since the government has denied the Rohingya people from access to medical treatments and healthcare, the people need to go to Bangladesh for that. That's the purpose why these people also have gone to Bangladesh and subsequently returned. 

"But the enforcement authorities are knowingly persecuting the Rohingya people and extorting money from them. Above all, what's so ILLEGAL for one in returning to his/her HOME?"

The Myanmar Government has barred the Rohingya people in Maungdaw District from travelling to Sittwe (Akyab) and Yangon, Myanmar's (unofficial) Capital, even in the case of medical emergency since 2012. Therefore, Rohingya people with chronic diseases and medical emergencies, they need to go to Bangladesh for treatments and surgeries. 

[Reported by Rohingya Eye; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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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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RB News
May 1, 2018

Buthidaung -- Ethnic Rohingya villagers are being subjected to forced labor by Buthidaung-based Myanmar military regiment (551) and LID (15).

According to the villagers of 'Ah Thwin Nget Thae', 25-30 Rohingyas from the village are forced by the military at the regiment (551) to clean the camps, wash their clothes, cook for them, feed their pigs and more.

Before they (Rohingya) return home in the evening after working for the whole day, they are forced to sign on a blank page. Sometimes, their village administrator is forced to sign an acknowledgement that these forced labors are paid.

"(The military) force (us) to do the work the whole day. They pay us not a single penny, rather we are forced to sign a blank page. Village administration is also forced to acknowledge that they (the forced labours) are paid. The forced labours are demanded through the village administration," said a villager asking not to be named.

If the villagers do not go for forced-laboring as per the order, then the Military personnel would go on rampage in the village and; catch and hold the cattle belonging to Rohingya on ransom. And the villagers have to pay Kyat 400,000-500,000 to get these cattle back, say the villagers.

Besides, every week, 10 Rohingya villagers from 'U Hla Phay' are forced to work for the military without pay.

Likewise, 10 Rohingya villagers each from 'Ah Thwin Nget Thae,' and 'Tappyo Chaung' are summoned by the military at LID (15) to work as forced labors, sources added.

[Translated by Sabit Hamid]

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U Mohammed Hanif, 48, was apparently killed today [Photo: Saeed Arakani/RB News]

RB News
May 1, 2018

Sittwe (Akyab) -- An internally displaced Rohingya man was found dead in Sittwe (Akyab) Township this (May 1) evening.

The man identified as U Mohammed Hanif s/o U Goni Miya, 48, was apparently killed around 6pm today. He was found dead with blood spilling all over his head and body at 'Cyclone Center' nearby 'Manzi' Police Station.

"He is an IDP living at 'Ohn Taw Gyi' camp. He was found dead at around 6pm and the Cyclone Center where he was found dead is an abandoned place where people go and rest nearby 'Manzi' police station.

“And the Police from the Police-Post often carelessly and brutally beat Rohingya passers-by," said an eyewitness to RB News.

After Police has sealed the place of the crime [Photo: Saeed Arakani/RB News]

It looks like a murder and the possible murderers could be the police personnel from the ‘Mansi’ Police Post, according to our initial investigations.

The police have currently blocked all public access to the crime scene and took the dead-body for post-mortem to Sittwe General Hospital at 7:30pm.

[Reported by Saeed Arakani; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
April 19, 2018

Banda Aceh/ Sittwe-- 10 Rohingya people are feared dead as they have been missing since they jumped off the boat, near the coast of southern Myanmar, which later reached to Aceh province of Indonesia on April 6.

A small boat with 15 people on board left from 'Ohn Taw Gyi (Barizaa Fara) in Sittwe (Akyab) beach between 26th and 27th March. After travelling for 3 days, they got near the coast of ‘Kau Thaung’ Township in Southern Myanmar, where they were stopped and detained by the Myanmar navy.

As the Myanmar navy began to torture them, 10 people jumped off the boat and have been missing since then.

"We were total 15 people on the boat. Since Myanmar navy began torturing us, 10 people couldn't suffer anymore and jumped off the boat. Since then, we have no information about their whereabouts," said a Rohingya boat man survived after rescued by Indonesian fishermen off the coast of Aceh.

“After torturing us for a few days, the Myanmar navy set us adrift to the sea from where we arrived here,” the man added.

When contacted, the relatives of the missing people said that they didn't information about their whereabouts either.

Another boat that left from Akyab (Sittwe) between 11th and 12th April should get to Malaysia anytime soon.

The Rohingya people have been fleeing from Myanmar to escape from Genocidal violence -- that have been carried out by the country’s military and security forces for decades and reached to their peaks in years of 2012, 2016 and 2017 -- to Bangladesh, Malaysia and India among others.

[Reported by Myo Naing and Saeed Arakani; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
April 18, 2018

Yangon, Myanmar -- Myanmar's Presidential Spokesperson, Zaw Htay, has denied 'the report of the release of 7 military personnel jailed for Inn Din [Aan Daang] Rohingya massacre' to AFP News, while many political and human rights observers are skeptical about his denial.

MNTV, a Myanmar News TV Channel owned by Sky Net Media Group, broadcasted about the release of 97 Prisoners including the 7 jailed soldiers from Sittwe (Akyab) Prison under Presidential Amnesty.

Minutes after that, the news has gone viral on social media and Zaw Htay in a prompt interview with AFP claimed that the release of the 7 soldiers is false. Further on Facebook, he rubbished the MNTV Report as 'Fake News.'

The MNTV, on its part, has quickly removed the video from its Facebook page and later claimed that the news is untrue.

CNB (Central News Bureau) in a statement later said "in the report '97 Prisoners Released from Sittwe Prison under Amnesty' we produced based our ground report sent by Sittwe Bureau, it has mentioned that the released prisoners include the 7 soldiers jailed regarding Inn Din case, MyaTanSaung Abbot and Political Prisoner Khaing Ni Min.

"However, according to our latest reports, we have learnt that the 7 soldiers jailed under Inn Din case were not released. Therefore, we respectfully state that we have wrongfully mentioned the said fact in the report."

However, political observers and human rights activists are highly skeptical about Zaw Htay's denial of the report of the release of the 7 jailed military men.

"MNTV has also claimed that there were total 97 prisoners released. We have the list of 87 people. Where are other 10?

"Besides, Zaw Htay has a strong history of lying. Therefore, we are highly skeptical about his denial of the release of the soldiers. He could be lying again considering the seriousness of the charges against the soldiers," a political and human rights observer based in Yangon requesting not to be named.

Some activists also demand a proper investigation by the concerned international bodies into the incident.

U Maung Khin, an activist also based in Yangon, said "CNB did a live recording of the event. They have verified the report. And only after that, MNTV has broadcasted it perhaps it didn't know seriousness of the case. Later, when it has gone viral and created uproar on Social Media, Zaw Htay took his action, which is blanket denial of everything as usual.

"The home ministry and police are under the military control. So are the media. Whether they keep someone inside or outside the prison, nobody knows. They can manipulate anything. So, it demands a high level international investigation."

The 7 military personnel along with Rakhine Buddhist militia massacred 10 Rohingya villagers and buried them in a mass-grave in Inn Din in Southern Maungdaw on September 2 last year in one of many such brutal massacres of Rohingya in Arakan state in the year. When Reuters exposed the gruesome massacre of the people, Myanmar came under international pressure, which has forced the government to sentence the 7 military men to 10 years in jail.

[Report by Aung Ko Ko; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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Rohingya Refugee Camps in New Dehli burnt down to ashes displacing 226 refugees [Photo: Maung A. Khan]

RB News
April 16, 208

New Dehli, India -- A leader of the youth-wing of the India’s ruling far-right Hindu party, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), has claimed that they have set fire on the Rohingya refugee camps in New Dehli on Sunday (Apr 15) early morning.

The fire broke out in the Rohingya refugee camps at ‘Kalindi Kunj’ at around 3:30am and destroyed all the 56 camps in the area where around 226 refugees used to live.

"The fire started at 3:15am and it quickly spread all over the camps within an hour just like somebody had thrown petrol on the camps beforehand. Fire brigades arrived and kept extinguishing fire till 7am. We couldn't save any of our belongings and everything was burnt down.

“Now, the Police have given us protections and relocated us to a nearby area. And NGOs are helping us with the basic stuffs,” said a refugee displaced by the fire.

Amidst the Police investigations to find out the cause behind the fire, Manish Chandela, leader of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth-wing of the ruling party BJP, has PROUDLY claimed on twitter that he and his group have set the fire on the Rohingya refugee camps on fire.

After the calls made by the social and human rights activists to the Police to arrest and investigate him, he later deleted the tweet. However, one more tweet claiming ‘Yes, we did. We do again’ with the hash-tag #ROHINGYAQUITINDIA can still be found on his twitter timeline.

The rise of BJP and Narendra Modi coming into power have emboldened Hindu extremist increasing violence all over the country and the Rohingya refugees have become targeted by the extremist groups across various states including Jammu and Delhi.

[Reported by S. Chandra; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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The family [of the village administrator] that Myanmar claimed to have returned from Bangladesh. [Photo: Facebook MOI]

RB News
April 15, 2018

Maungdaw, Arakan State – The Myanmar Government has staged a fake event in relation to the Rohingya repatriation from Bangladesh ahead of the visit by the UN Security Council members to northern Arakan state, Myanmar, where Genocide has been taking place.

On Saturday (Apr 14), the Facebook page of Myanmar’s Information Portal (MOI) claimed that a (Rohingya) Muslim family of five that had fled to Bangladesh returned to Myanmar. And they were received at ‘Taung Pyo Latwei’ Entry (Receiving) Point and *NV Cards were issued to them.

Later, our investigation has found that this family of five was NOT a Rohingya refugee family returning from Bangladesh but were the administrator of ‘Taung Pyo Latya’ village, Aftar Alam s/o Mv Rashid, and his family.

“We were shocked to hear anybody would return here amidst volatile condition here. Many people are still fleeing. So, we investigated who the exactly returnees were and found out that they are the family of the administrator of ‘Taung Pyo Latya’ village. Almost all the Rohingya villages were burnt down in Taung Pyo but his house wasn’t because he’s a government’s informant and sycophant,” said a source close to his relatives.

The source further added “upon the direction by the government, he along with a few family members of his has left for Bangladesh and stayed at a Bangladeshi house which is just a small creek across to ‘No Man’s Land’ [between Myanmar and Bangladesh Border]. His main purpose was to work as an informant for the Myanmar Gov’t and persuade thousands of Rohingya refugees are taking shelter there. When failed to persuade anyone to return, they themselves came back as returnees. And the authorities portrayed them to be (refugee) returnees from Bangladesh. This is a DECEPTION.”

The move by the Myanmar authorities to stage the fake event came in the backdrop of the recent visit by the Myanmar Social Welfare Minister, Win Myat Aye, and is apparently aimed to lure the Rohingya Genocide Survivors in Bangladesh who are not returning because of the high risks to their lives and the fear that they will be forced to live in Auschwitz-style concentration camps, which Myanmar calls temporary rehabilitation camps, permanently. The Myanmar Security Forces have several times threatened and attempted to lure the Rohingya survivors to return to Myanmar in the recent months and live in the (concentration) camps built for them in the country.

The Officials from the United Nations Security Council are also set to visit the later this month for the first time after years of violence against Rohingya since 2012.

Auschwitz-style concentration camps in northern Maungdaw, which Myanmar calls temporary rehabilitation camps [Photo: Thein Zaw/AP] 

*NV Card = National Verification Card is issued to a foreigner for verification while he/she is applying for citizenship in Myanmar. Rohingya rejects this because they are not foreigners that need to go through this process but their citizenship needs to be restored stripped off by the 1982 Citizenship Law of Burma coined by the late dictator Ne Win violating existing international norms to specifically the Rohingya ethnic minority.

[Reported by Sabit Hamid; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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Rohingya Exodus