Burma Times Correspondent: May 17, 2015
Seven Nayapara refugees kidnapped from Bangladesh have called their homes informing that they are in a stranded ship off the coast of Thailand.
The calls made on Saturday were from two Thai phone numbers. The men were unable to pinpoint their exact location.
On April 15, the seven men disappeared during a trip to Jadimura. When their families could not locate them, Rohingya refugees launched a manhunt but failed to track them. It was only on Saturday that the picture became clearer with the phone call.
During the phone conversations, it was learnt that some Rohingya men had asked them to accompany them to the town of Teknaf to help some schoolchildren with their studies. When they got to a house in Teknaf, they were tied up at gunpoint.
In the same night, they were forced into a boat that travelled into the sea to carry them into a big ship. The ship set sail during the last hour of darkness.
The prisoners said that along with the hundreds of prisoners on board, they were treated very badly. Food and water was given at long intervals and if anyone asked for more, they were mercilessly tortured.
One of the men was also tortured when he asked to urinate one too many times.
They also said that the women were repeatedly raped by the traffickers. When one of them protested, she was thrown overboard.
Many of the men were also killed by the traffickers often for failing to comply an order. The total atmosphere generated silence and obedience from the captives and they became physically and mentally ill.
In the last stage of the journey, the traffickers told the seven men that they would have to pay 170,000 Bangladesh Taka each and they could contact their families once they were in Thailand.
But suddenly one day, the traffickers left in a boat taking most of the food and drinking water with them.
Family members say that their boys probably hid the full extent of their sufferings.
Later however, once they got near Malaysia, security personal gave them food and water. They then directed the boat back to Thai waters.
Thailand also refused to let them land but gave them food and water.
The victims are Abdul Hashem, Md Salam, Sadek Hossain, Md Yunus, Md Zubair, Abdur Rahman and Shafique Ahmed. They are aged around 20.