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“They are Prisoners of Conscience”

By Mohammad Haroon, The Stateless Rohingya

Burma began a project of “Burmanisation” in the 1950s, with its lofty aims for racial purity and the nationalization of minority’s resources following the end of British rule. Since then each confessional minority group in their own ancestral land has been dealt with different strategy to achieve this encroachment goal. Unlike other groups the Rohingya, without an armed wing and it became the perfect foil for rampant pogroms.

There have been untold destructions in life and properties of Rohingya in a vicious series of pogroms erupted in 2012 centering a poppycock photo alleging rape & murder of a Rakhine girl by Rohingya boys which after some probing at the end of designated game the photograph was turned out to be fake one.

The massacre hammered through the use of the 9th, Oct., 2016 conspiracy was only the latest chapter in a long history of state-sponsored traumatization against Rohingya. The entry, to latest killing theatre, of Burma’s military forces lent another dimension to this conflict that local Rakhine nationalists together with security forces purposefully meted out devastating violence against the Rohingya minority. With a pre-planned tactic, the military would encircle the entire village tract; a number groups comprising security forces & local Rakhine nationalist thugs would launch wide spread crackdown going house to house to loot all the removables including cattle, do gang-rape & multiple killings. At the end of each operation all the remaining villagers would be herded out to a waiting military legion that would further terrorize them till to the nearby sea shore or river bank & force them to flee.

Diagram1: Approximate damages suffered by Rohingya community in Arakan/Rakhine state since 9th.Oct.2016
Rohingya houses burnt to ashes: 3,266
Rohingya internally displaced: 28,000
Rohingya detained: 824
Rohingya forced fled: 69,000
Rohingya women ganged raped: 317
Rohingya property looted: countless
(gold/silver ornaments, domestic animals like goats, cows, ox, hens, buffalo ,rice fields, motor cycles etc.)

Is it the end of this cycle? Probably not yet, now the military’s eye is on the 825 detainees going rotten with animal-like treatments inside the jails, without given any legal access, most of whom do not know what their crime is, worst of all most of their family members do not know if their love ones are still alive. The military see them within a context of genocide; to wipe them out as much before the looming UN led crime investigation would mean two birds killing in one stone: Summary killing of all detainees & close the file.

To use above as a point that judicial part of so called Rohingya uprising has already been done and no need for involvement UN led investigation.

Announcing one of 824 similar cases at this particular juncture is sensing the local & international temperature. In fact, all of them are prisoners of conscience and deserve freedom without condition; prove otherwise through UN investigators.