Census is a time for arrest and torture in Arakan
Burma Times Correspondent, January 23, 2015
Residents of Kiladong (Du Char Yar Taan) are in terror of the upcoming census. The controversial census which began at the end of January has resulted in the harassment of many innocent Rohingya Muslims and Kiladong residents fear that since they are especially marked by the authorities, ‘special measures’ might be in adopted against them.
The ongoing census has resulted in arbitrary arrest, torture and detention of Rohingya Muslims.
Kiladong is the site of the infamous massacre of January 2014 when a Rakhine mob backed by security forces killed scores of men, women and children.
Anti-Muslim groups and the government alleges that Kiladong is a terrorist hotspot. Another reason for the bias against Kiladong is that authorities want to prevent the residents from speaking to international rights groups and the media about the massacre and the subsequent crackdown.
To this day, the government refuses to acknowledge that any killings of civilians had occurred in the area in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.
In the aftermath of the killings, security forces combed surrounding regions in search of Kiladong survivors, arresting and torturing many, including those who had sheltered them.
This year, on January 18, the security forces arrested Abdu Monaf, Md Taher, Md Ayoju and Zohur Hossain from Kiladong and subjected them to brutal torture. Security presence was also increased in the area following the visit of UN delegation to Arakan.
Recently, the security presence is more lax but as the census approaches to the area, there are fears of arrest and torture among the residents.