Burma Times Correspondent: September 18, 2015
Five Rohingyas in Mebong have been forced to make obeisance to a statue of Buddha.
On Saturday, a group of Rohingyas had gone out to fish in the river after taking permission from the IDP camp authorities when they were chased by a Rakhine gang. One of them was caught in the chase and he was brutally beaten up. Afterwards he was taken to the police and tortured into revealing the name of his companions.
Afterwards, four of the fishermen were called into the police camp on Sunday morning. Here they were severely tortured. Then the police took them to a nearby temple and forced them to kneel in front of the Buddha. They were then ordered to fall in feet of the Buddha statue and clasp their hands.
They were later told to denounce their religion and follow the path of the Buddha and all their troubles would melt away. When they refused, they were further tortured. However they were released later on the day after a payment of 200,000 kyats.
IDPs in Mebong do not have any access to income and with WFP rations reduced, there are extreme food shortages in the camps. The Rohingyas are not allowed to leave the camps and thus cannot earn a living.
Buddhist nationalism, a violent form of the religion has found increasing popularity in the fractured country in recent years leading to violence against religious minorities mostly Muslims.