After Rohingya man shot dead in Duchiridan, conflicting stories emerge

After Rohingya man shot dead in Duchiridan, conflicting stories emerge

December 22, 2016


While Aung San Suu Kyi sweet talked the nine other Asaen foreign ministers about her government’s military operations in Rakhine State on Monday morning, a photo (graphic) of the bloodied body of a man killed in southern Maungdaw Township began circulating on social media.

Rohingya groups said the killing in village of Duchiridan, locally known as Kilaidaung, was unlawful. Rohingya Vision TV reported that Myanmar Border Guard Police shot the man after their search for methamphetamine tablets in his home came up empty-handed.

“The group of the BGP didn’t find out any illegal materials at the residence of U Hamid (55). Yet the BGP commander simply dragged him out and shot him at his back at a point-blank range”, an eyewitness told Rohingya Vision TV on the condition of anonymity.

“After killing him, the BGP left the body where he was killed at and they left the place without taking responsibility for the death,” the report continues.

The following day, the State Counsellor’s Office told a different story:

Acting on a tip-off, a security force led by Police Major Kyaw Thiha, together with townselders of the Ducheertan Village, searched a house owned by Hammad Tusaung, 50, in Ducheertan Village (West).

While the border guard police were carrying out the search, Hammad Tusaung attacked Private Sai Htet Lin Aung with a 15-inch long knife.

The policeman suffered a knife wound in his arm and fell.

As the attacker tried to stab him, the police officer fired a shot at the attacker.

During the search of the house, the police found items including two pipes used for snorting drugs.

The State Counsellor’s Office website includes photos of the pipes and other objects that state-run media allege were found in the victim’s home.

The story changed again when a police officer in Maungdaw spoke to DVByesterday:

[Police] went to search for drugs at a home and were attacked by a group of people with sticks and swords, prompting them to open fire.

A police [officer] sustained a knife injury and one of the attackers was captured dead.

Neither report says the search of the Rohingya man’s house was related to the military crackdown that the Tatmadaw has conducted in northern Rakhine State since the alleged attack on three police stations by Rohingya insurgents October 9. Dozens of Rohingya civilians have reportedly been killed since the crackdown began.

Rohingya Vision TV fills in this gap and notes the authorities’ apparent character assassination against U Hamid (Hammad Tusaung):

After killing Hamid, the BGP misinformed the military that he was a militant and there are more militants hiding in the village of Duchiradan to justify the unlawful killing.

More than 100 Burmese military arrived afterwards and began raiding the village of Duchiradan. The Rohingya men fled to escape from arbitrary arrests and now the military are plundering homes in the village.

With the Myanmar military preventing independent investigators from documenting the events taking place in northern Rakhine State, even after several commitments to open the area, there remains an ‘information black hole’. The most effective way for human rights groups to verify and document claims of abuses has been to compare photos, videos and personal accounts from the conflict zone to changes in the landscape using remote sensing analysis.

But while this has been useful in verifying allegations of arson and helicopter gunship attacks, it is not able to give us the truth about what happens to individuals on the ground, like U Hamid. It is nearly impossible to determine which version of these events is correct; each source has a clear interest in its own version.

The story of U Hamid highlights the need for Asean and other regional stakeholders to continue pressuring the Myanmar government to open northern Rakhine State to independent investigation. Without this, the narrative will continue to be controlled by the people holding the guns.

Source by:

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

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