Burma Times Correspondent: July 23, 2015
Five people have been arrested and tortured by Hlun Htein in Maungdaw on allegations of keeping a Bangladesh SIM card.
On Saturday (Eid day), Hlun Htein entered Washika fara under Naffura village tract in Maungdaw North and arrested three men listening to music on a mobile phone. Although the phones were Burmese, the security personal alleged they were Bangladeshi and took the three men to custody.
They were later tortured.
The next day, two of the men Hamid and Nazir Hossain were released following the payment of a million kyats. The other arrested man Md Alam was unable to come up with the money and continues to languish in prison till filing of the report.
In a separate incident, Hlun Htein arrested Md Rafique from Boro Dil Patenga of Maungdaw South on Monday. Rafique was severely tortured in prison for keeping a Bangladesh SIM card. Locals however say Rafique was tortured because he is a religious scholar.
As Rafique was led away to the Hlun Htein base in Godusera, another man Hashim Ullah fell in front of the security forces as he was en route to the toilet. Hashim was also assaulted and arrested.
Both were released the next day following the payment of 700,000 kyats.
Incidentally many Rohingyas keep a Bangladesh SIM card to keep in touch with their friends and relatives on the other side of the border. There are around half a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
However the BD SIM arrest is a common tactic used by security forces to extort Rohingya Muslims.