Myanmar Government Admits That The Video Showing Torturing of Rohingyas Was Filmed In Koe Tan Kauk Village, Rathedaung Township
January 1, 2017
A video filmed by a Myanmar policeman showing a large group of Rohingya villagers, who were detained by security forces, being kicked and beaten with objects was circulated on social media on December 31st, 2016. The video was quickly spread around the world through Facebook and Twitter and has been picked up by news outlets.
The video shows Myanmar police torturing, cursing, kicking and humiliating innocent Rohingya villagers who were gathered in a massive group and forced to sit outside while they were randomly beaten and abused. The video was filmed in Koe Tan Kauk village of Rathedaung Township on November 5th, 2016.
Villagers from Koe Tan Kauk had held a protest with some signs and posters when the UN resident coordinator and some other diplomats visited their village on November 3rd, 2016. After the delegation left Rakhine state the villagers who held the protest were targeted by Myanmar armed forces. The villagers were attacked brutally from early morning on November 5th, 2016 until late in the evening on November 6th, 2016.
The Myanmar Government’s security forces gathered all the male villagers who were older than 8-years-old in a single location and kept them there for two days. In the video it is clearly shown how the boys and men had to place their hands on their head while they were brutally beaten by the police.
While Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi’s office released a statement admitting the incident took place, they also attempted to justify the mass detention of civilians by saying the security forces were searching for men they say attacked a Border Guard Police outpost in Nurullah hamlet in southern Maungdaw Township. The information provided by Suu Kyi’s office refers to an incident on November 3rd 2016, which villagers attribute to infighting between border guards police, and they say it did not involve any Rohingya or militants.
Koe Tan Kauk village is located 20 miles from Nurullah hamlet in southern Maungdaw, where the incident mentioned by Suu Kyi’s office took place. There are more than ten checkpoints between the two villages and it would be virtually impossible for any Rohingya to travel between the two locations during a period of calm, let alone while curfews have been implemented and there is unrest in the region. These circumstances draw serious question regarding the sincerity and credibility of Aung San Suu Kyi’s office’s statement.
It is believed by locals that the true reason the villagers in Koe Tan Kauk were tortured was that the security forces were seeking to punish them for the protest they staged when diplomats were visiting the village.
Some of the villagers who were tortured in the video have been identified as:
(1) Noor Boshor s/o Abdul Aziz (35 year old) – The man wearing Blue colour longyi.
(2) Yaseen s/o Molvi Abul Kasim (15 year old) – The boy wearing Red and Yellow colour Soccer T-Shirt, he is Grade 8 student.
(3) Mohammed Sodolok s/o Abdul Salam (13 year old) – The boy wearing Yellow colour T-Shirt
Today on January 1st, 2017 two staff members from the Military Security Affairs department (locally known as Sa Ra Pha), based in Aley Than Kyaw village in Southern Maungdaw Township, visited the village and took photos where the incident took place. Some military were also seen taking photos of the village’s in-charges.