Rohingyas are pleased but also remorseful as thousands of their people still face torture and further arbitrary arrest. Burma Times explains
Rohingyas and human rights activists are understandably overjoyed by the release of prominent political prisoner Dr. Tun Aung from custody. In a state where good news for the persecuted community is few and far between, Dr. Aung’s early release provides a welcome respite from the otherwise grim incidents.
No doubt, Rohingya Muslims are grateful to Yanghee Lee, the UN special envoy for human rights in Burma. It was following Lee’s visit to the restive state and meeting with Dr. Aung that has convinced the authorities to release the prisoner.
Dr. Aung’s release, though extremely welcome, is just the tip of the iceberg. As Aung Myo Min, executive director of Equality Myanmar, pointed out that the government “releases a few political prisoners, and then arrests a few more.” At this moment there are thousands of political prisoners inside Arakan picked up by the authorities during the riots of 2012 who are being subjected to brutal torture. If the rights activist is right, this might be prelude to a further clampdown
On the other hand, the government has done nothing against Buddhist nationalists who attacked and killed Muslim men, women and children but instead took action against the victims and brave individuals such as Dr. Aung who tried to negotiate an end to the communal strife.
As for Yanghee Lee, she has no doubt scored an early diplomatic success, one for which the Rohingya community is grateful. Now it can only be hoped that Lee, along with others at UN can walk down the slippery road of Burma to bring further hope for the embattled Rohingya community. With communal Buddhist monks cursing and demonstrating against her, it will be a long and difficult journey.