Rohingya Women Raped and Homes Plundered in Southern Maungdaw
Maungdaw – At least 14 Rohingya women were raped by the Burmese military, over 3 dozens of men and women beaten up and many homes plundered at the village of ‘Goduthara’ in southern Maungdaw last Saturday (Jan, 7), local sources reported.
The villagers claimed numbers of Burmese soldiers conducted raids on the southern hamlet of Goduthara at around 4 pm on Saturday, where they began chasing and beating the village men.
As the men fled in fear of arbitrary arrests, they began beating and molesting scores of women in the village and looted their (the women’s) ornaments. During the hours of the chaotic raids, the military raped four women in the village.
At night at around 8 pm, the military raided the southern and western hamlets of the village again and indulged in tortures of the villagers including men and women and arrested 7 men. The soldiers committed more robberies and RAPED further 10 more women.
The sources further mentioned the soldiers were distributing the (looted) ornaments and money among themselves in the village’s school, the 7 villagers locked up in a room in the school managed to flee.
Yesterday (on January 8), the Border Guard Police (BGP) led by the Commander ‘U Kyaw Thuri’ arrived at Godusara and listed the numbers of the victims including women and men suffered in the hands of the soldiers at the earlier night and apparently submitted it to the higher authorities.
At around 3:30 pm on Sunday, the commander of the battalion based ‘Mawra Waddy’ arrived at Goduthara and provided medical treatments to the victims. After that, the commander publicly beat the soldiers involved in the crimes and took them to their base camp in ‘Mawra Waddy’ village.
“Soldiers indulged in the crimes of rapes can’t be freed by just giving them some beatings as punishments and must be court-marshalled. However, at a place where there is no justice at all, this kind of action by the military commander gives a little bit of sense of justice to the public.
“On other hand, we are suspicious if ‘these criminal actions by the soldiers and the subsequent punitive actions taken by their commander’ could be some deliberate attempts to implicate the public with the sense that if the soldiers commit wrong things/crimes, the authorities will take actions” said a U Aye Myint, a human rights activist based in Maungdaw.
At least 30 women were raped and approximately, 30 women and 7 men were tortured by the soldiers on the Saturday night.