Burma Times Special Report: June 29, 2015
Day after day, evening after evening and night after night, the torture goes on. It was often difficult to get an accurate description of the notorious prisons of Arakan built especially for the country’s Muslim population because most of them who entered have not left. Now that the state releases some of the prisoners nearing death, a clearer picture is emerging.
It is not one that can be described accurately in words.
According to the testimony of Ali Akbar from Anak Parang, Ratheduang, when the torture stops, there is a momentary relief, even a feeling of gratitude towards the torturer. But the nasty feeling that the torture is about to start place takes hold soon. Those who stay in the jails of Arakan lose all feelings of a human being and become like an animal, or even worse. Because few animals have to endure the brutal treatment reserved for Muslim prisoners at the Arakan prisons.
Human beings often find a way to survive. Other human beings however find a way to devise a slow process of death.
Akbar said that many who died inside the Arakan prisons were probably relieved when the torture stopped forever.
Like thousands of others, Akbar was picked up by security forces and sent to the brutal prison on charges of rioting against the Rakhine Buddhists. Of course it was the Rakhines who attacked in the first place, but killing Muslims and raping their women is considered fair game in the country. What is not considered fair game is defending your family and home from the Rakhine murderers and rapists. That will get you a one way ticket to the prison where you are tortured everyday, hour after hour by the jail authorities.
Akbar was fortunate that he was able to see the face of his wife and children one last time. Hundred others who died did not have that chance. Many corpses are buried in prison grounds so that there are no witnesses to their bruised bodies.
Akbar himself breathed his last on Saturday after almost three years of torture. He was released last week by the authorities as his death inside prison was likely to be documented by rights groups.