Burma Times Desk Report: January 21, 2015
Another day in Arakan, another Rohingya death in police custody. The victim Begum Taru was arrested because her husband Md Ismail refused to abandon his identity as a Rohingya and register as Bengali as the authorities intend for all Rohingyas. When the police could not find Ismail, they arrested his wife, and tortured her since last year. If they wanted to torture Ismail for his crimes, they have done it. His wife’s lifeless body was released this Sunday. For more info please see http://burmatimes.net/one-rohingya-woman-killed-police-custody/
Taru’s death in police custody is a reminder of the brutal torture reserved for Rohingyas inside the walls of the now infamous prisons of Arakan. Earlier this month, two Rohingya men Nazir Ahmed and Zainal Uddin were confirmed to have died after living for two and a half years under torture. For more info please see http://burmatimes.net/torture-goes/
The statistics are misleading. It is likely that in this month, there have been more than these three deaths inside custody. The restrictions in place inside Arakan makes information difficult to process.
Taru also reminds us that in this region, that people are held responsible for crimes (if her husband’s commitment to the Rohingya identity is a crime in the first place) committed by their family members, something not acceptable in a civilised society.
Then there is also the reminder that the government is forcing Rohingyas to accept the identity of a foreign race. Wherever Rohingyas refused to be classified as Bengalis, the authorities arrested them and in this case killed the offender’s wife.
This was a census unlike any other in the world. The census officals came to the Rohingya settlements accompanied by heavily armed police and military personnel.
Relevant authorities have told the media that they hope to resume the census programme this month.