Soldiers extort money from sentry men in Maungdaw

Maungdaw, Arakan State:  Burmese soldiers extorted money from village sentry men on December 18, over the allegation that they had broken the law of sentry post, according to a local businessman preferring not to be named.
A section of soldiers from Labaw Zaar army camp of Nasaka area No. 6 of Maungdaw north went to the Labaw Zaar village of Maungdaw Township and allegedly blamed the sentry men while paying sentry duty at the sentry posts and then brought to its camp where they were detained.

“But the army did not explain what kind of rule, they had broken,” said a local trader who denied to be named.

On that day, 15 sentry men were arrested and brought to the army camp.

The innocent villagers (sentry men) did not know anything about their arrest. They have to pay sentry at the village from dusk to down, said a youth from the village.

The army asked to provide them one CDM phone card per each to be released. One CDM Mobile Phone card is cost at Kyat 12,000. However, they were released after paying money the next day, the youth more added.

“The army did it deliberately against the Rohingya community,” said a local elder.

“The sentry are very poor, I don’t know how they managed the money to be released,” said another local elder who denied to be named.

There is no rule of law in Arakan State. Those who are only suspicious persons, they are identified as criminals, detained and extorted money.

Human rights groups have long accused the Burmese security forces of arbitrarily arrest, detentions and torturing suspects to extract confession or money. There are many records of people dying in custody, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

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