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Rohingya woman raped by Sri Lankan Police Officer

Rohingya women and children in the detention centre

By The Stateless Rohingya

A 21 years old Rohingya refugee woman was raped by a detention centre police officer away from a hospital on last Sunday, June 19, 2017.

On June 16, the victim was admitted to Kalubuwila Teaching hospital, about 8 km from Marihana Detention Centre, with severe fever of unknown origin. As her fever subsided three days later, she informed her relatives who are also in the detention centre to take her back.

Her brother-in-law, Mohammed Amin, the guardian of the patient asked permission to bring her from a female detention officer who was on duty at the time. The officer refused the request and asked him to go on Monday morning. The duty officer called the hospital to keep the patient till the next morning.

However, another officer who was also present during the conversation, learned the matter and immediately went to hospital. Before going to the hospital, the 30-year old officer, who is known as Awas, made a call to the patient through Nihara (45) female cleaner at the detention centre who knows Hindi language. He informed the Rohingya woman that Nihara would be coming to take her from the hospital.

When the woman did not see Nihara, she refused to go with the police officer. Later Nihara reassured her that she could trust the officer and stayed at her home before returning to the centre with her in the following morning. The police officer took her to Nihara’s house near Mirihana Detention Centre, where she was reported tied and raped at night by the police officer.

In the morning he dropped her back to the hospital gate. Upon hearing the tragic moment, her brother-in-law lodged police report and informed UNHCR. She was again admitted to the hospital telling people that she is under further investigation.

The woman is still kept in a separate hospital room, where no one including UNHCR recruited lawyer is allowed to talk to her.

Advocate Mr. Mohammed Sinhas reported in grief, “I went to Police Station and they did not even give me the case number and not allowed me to talk anyone including her relatives. Nobody is helping for the case from the government, as per think they are trying to hush the case.”

Nihara and Onika another woman who helped to get the Rohingya woman out of the hospital was arrested temporarily and later released without any reasons despite being the main culprits in the rape case. The rapist police office still roams freely without being suspended nor investigated.

It is being reported that the victim and her family received several threats from the perpetrator through police office. Since moving the rape victim in the separate room in the hospital, she is not allowed to talk to her relatives and the lawyer.

The woman is among 30 Rohingya who were rescued by Sri Lanka Navy on April 30, 2017, as they fled Jammu Kashmir where Indian political parties threatened to burn huts and attack on the Rohingya refugees several times having lived for more than four years.