Burma Times Correspondent: August 12, 2015
Around 67 Rohingya Muslim prisoners freed from Akyab jail have yet to return to their homes and instead remain stranded in Chaki para of Akyab, a neighbourhood under continuous siege.
The prisoners that include six women were arrested and brutally tortured in custody since 2012. They were released on July 29. Thousands more are still in prison where they face torture and abuse on a regular basis. Hundreds have died under torture in the last few years.
Although many political prisoners have been freed recently, very few Muslim prisoners were part of this pardon.
Out of the few who were released, most have been transferred from Akyab jail to the Rohingya neighbourhood of Chaki para in the township. Along with other Rohingya neighbourhoods in the area, it has been described by observers as an open air prison and having one of the worst living conditions in the world.
Of course, the prisoners are breathing a sigh of relief, the everyday torture is not happening. There are fears for the future however and there is no guarantee they would not be thrown back inside. At the moment they remain confined in Chaki para.
Rohingya Muslims are forbidden to travel from one area to another without government permission.
Altogether in this group, there are 20 released prisoners from Maungdaw, eight from Buthidaung, 25 from Rathedaung and 14 from Pauktaw.
The neighbourhood of Chaki para has remained under continuous blockade since 2012 as Rohingyas resisted Rakhine attempts to storm their homes. There are few people and almost no young male left in this neighbourhood as all have either fled, died or arrested.