By The Stateless
July 14th 2017
Maungdaw, Burma: The Myanmar military arrested 6 Rohingya men during Juma prayer (Friday afternoon) accusing them of involvement in the attack on the BGP outposts in October of last year.
The falsely accused suspects were arrested during a sudden raid at Hasarbil (Oukpuma), a small hamlet of Ngakura village in northern Maungdaw. After the Juma (Friday prayer) was completed and the Masallis (Worshippers) were about to leave the mosque for their homes.
A local villager, who will remain anonymous said, “(the) Military suddenly surrounded the village before Juma prayer completed, they started arbitrarily arresting and locked (handcuffed) them at the mosque.”
Out of more than 100 Rohingya arrestees they have taken 10 well-respected Rohingyas and a teenage boy into custody at Maungdaw Prison. Later on Monday they announced charges for the 6 suspects, with nothing else to hold them for it has been claimed they were involved in the BGP attacks last year.
The men are believed to be innocent and seen as victims by the local villagers. The villagers were shocked and denied the charges announced by government as completely fabricated and a part of the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign by the Burmese Military and its complicit counterpart the Burmese government. Rohingya Muslims are unable to acquire legal assistance and therefore cannot appeal against the sudden rulings that are made without any chance for defense by Rohingyas.
Since October 9th 2016 the Myanmar government has drastically increased the rate of their systematic removal of the Rohingya community. They have used the incident at the BGP outposts in Maungdaw as a means to justify a brutal clearance operation in which gang rape, murder, and setting entire villages afire is common practice. The military claims these operations are aiming to find suspects while their actual intention is to force Rohingyas off their ancestral lands. The UN estimated at least 74,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since October 9th 2016, some figures estimate 90,000.
The Burmese government’s denial of Visas to the UN fact-finding mission should trigger a siren call to the international community. Pressure must be increased on Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government. As the evidence of crimes against humanity pile up, nations of influence such as The United States, The UK, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland and others must ask themselves; how far will they let this go in the name of diplomacy, how many times have we said never again to genocide?