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Prison labor in Buthidaung jail

Arakan State:
prisoners are being used as forced labor by concerned authorities in
Buthidaung jail since second week of last month, said a released
prisoner from the Jail preferring not to be named. “The Rohingya
prisoners, who had been arrested in riot, are being used as prison
labor in harvesting by the authorities of Buthidaung jail.”

In the morning, the prisoners
are brought to the paddy fields for harvesting after feeding little
food by the authorities and whole day they have to work in the paddy
fields. But, they have to return with the bundles of paddy in the
evening, said a relative of a prisoner that he knew from a police
aide of the jail.

Later, they have to thresh or
separate paddy from ears of paddy by legs or hands. During the
threshing the paddy, bleeding is going out from their legs and hands.

In Arakan State, after
harvesting the paddy, cows are used to separate the paddy from ears
of paddy, but Rohingyas are being used to separate paddy from ears of
paddy. Though the authorities have cows for threshing the paddy, they
don’t give permission to use cows, according to a reliable source.

The source also said that many
Rohingya prisoners are being half-fed and have been suffering from
lack of medicine, and hygienic conditions in jail.

Besides, the authority mostly
discriminated against the religious leaders (Moulana) that their
beards had been clean shaved in the jail. However, some of religious
leaders disobeyed the order of authorities, so their beards were
removed forcibly and also they were severely beaten up by the
authority, said another recently released prisoner from the jail.

More than 800 Rohingya
prisoners have been languishing in Buthidaung jail since June 2012
who had been arrested during the violence. No one get any bill and is
not allowed to borrow lawyer. Recently, some of the prisoners were
sentenced to 10 to 20 years imprisonment without any proper query and
any documents.