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Urgent Aid Needed for Rohingya Starving in Their Own Homes

06 October 2012

A new crisis is emerging in Arakan State, Burma, where up to 700,000 Rohingya are trapped in their homes and villages, unable to go out and buy food or farm because of ongoing attacks and threats against them. BROUK is already receiving reports of babies are dying from malnutrition.

 

While international attention has focused on up to 100,000 Rohingya in camps for internally displaced people, who are now receiving regular aid, hundreds of thousands more Rohingya in areas not visited by aid workers and international observers are starving in their own homes.

 

It has been almost 4 months the violence erupted in Arakan State, Burma, and since then local Rohingya people describe being under effective siege by government forces and local Rakhine communities. Constant human rights abuses committed against Rohingya make it unsafe for them to leave their homes to get food.

 

BROUK has received the following information from the ground about abuses committed in the past week, which give an indication of the type of abuses forcing people to stay at home:

 

1.      Two Rohingya were killed in Sittwe while they went to buy food from Central Market.

2.      No Rohingyas can go to school, hospitals, or markets most of the towns of Arakan State. Several people who tried to go out were beaten and killed.

3.      Many Rohingyas were arrested in Maungdaw Township. Those who were arrested have disappeared.

4.      Around 3000 Rakhine armed with weapons, together with Rakhine Monks, gathered and surrounded Rohingya areas for hours in an attempt to recreate violence against the Rohingyas in Sittwe. They demanded all Rohingyas to come out of their houses or they would kill each and every Rohingya in the area.

5.      3 Rohingya boys were shot by government authorities while they were watching their cattle in the pasture between paddy field and forest nearby the village in Pauktaw Township.

6.      In Pauktaw Township many babies have died because of malnutrition. Adults are also reported to be starving.

7.      Rohingya face a boycott in many areas with local Rakhine shopkeepers refusing to sell them food.

8.      Prison and security forces in Buthidaung  jail are cutting off or burning the penises of Rohingyas, forcing them to have homosexual sex with one another, cutting off or pulling out their finger nails, severely beating them, keeping them naked all the time, keeping them without food and water for days. When they are given foods once in many days, it is on the ground with their hands tied at their backs. Authorities in the jail force them through immense torture to confess that they are animals and that’s why they have to eat like animals. 

9.      The bound and dead body of a Rohingya man was found in Sanpya village of Sittwe.

10.  More than 10 Rohingyas were robbed and beaten, receiving serious injuries, by police and security forces while they tried to travel from Alay Than Kyaw village to another village in Maungdaw.

11.  Those with bullet injuries and disease are in acute mental and physical pain without any medical care and treatment.

 

BROUK President Tun Khin said: “President Thein Sein has already publicly stated that he wants to ethnically cleanse all Rohingya out of Burma, even asking for international help to do so. He is already implementing this policy, using starvation instead of bullets to kill Rohingya men, women and children.”

 

“Hilary Clinton, David Cameron, Ban Ki-moon and others are praising Thein Sein at the same time as he is killing our people. They should be insisting to end the starvation siege against Rohingya, and allows in international aid all effected areas in Arakan. They should also be working at the UN General Assembly for a UN Commission of Inquiry into what is taking place.”

 

For more information contact Tun Khin on +44 (0)7888714866.