Narinjara news

‘Smuggled’ minority Muslims detained in Burma

Sittwe, 2 August 02: 
On July 20th , two minority Muslims from Arakan State, in the western part of Burma, with an Arakanese national were arrested at the Nasaka checkpoint # 25 at Ann Township.  

The Arakanese was serving as the 'carrier’ of the two Muslim persons being 'smuggled’ into Burma proper, according to a member of the Nasaka security forces there.  Ann Township is where the Western Command of Burma is, situated in the southern part of Arakan State.

The two Muslims, named Habib Rahman (27) S/O Shamsuddin and Abdul Zaman (22) S/O Abdul Hakim from Pauktaw-palaung village under Kyauktaw Township, and an Arakanese national, named Maung Kyaw Win (33) S/O U Tha Myint Aung hailing from the same village were arrested on charges of, what the authorities term as ‘human smuggling’  - a reference made to ‘smuggling Muslim nationals from Arakan State to Burma Proper’ against the decree of the Burmese junta’s ban on the free movement of Muslims from the state.

The Nasaka security forces allegedly recovered kyat 250,000 from the possession of Maung Kyaw Win as the price for ‘smuggling’ the Muslim nationals into Rangoon in Burma Proper.    Sources from the Immigration Department at Ann told our correspondent that, the process for indicting the three on charges of perpetrating the Burmese Junta’s ban on ‘movement of Muslims from Arakan State to Burma Proper’ has been taken up.

In the same manner, on July 16th , a minority Muslim, Tun Naing alias Farid-ur-Kamal (18) son of Muhammad Sabur of Pibaung-raung (Pi-bin-yin) village, Nangya village tract under Mrauk-u Township, was arrested along with U Lun Aung Zan son of U Maung Pan Than from Taw Village under the same township at the same Nasaka checkpoint on the same charges.  It is alleged that Kyat 160,000 was recovered from the possession of Lun Aung Zan as the ‘price’ for ‘smuggling’ the Muslim nationals to Burma proper.

The ban on the movement of Muslim nationals of Arakan State has been effective since 1988 when the Burmese junta imposed travel ban on the Muslims who allegedly ‘infiltrated’ into Arakan State from a neighbouring country, while in practice, the ‘ban’ has now also been extended discriminatorily to those Muslim nationals of Arakan State who for centuries have been living in their ancestral land of Arakan, said a well-known public administrator in Mrauk-u.

Previously there were incidents of what is termed as ‘Muslim smuggling’ by the Military Intelligence agents posted across the state.  Recently many Arakanese people lured by the ‘trade’ that needs the least risk but high profit have taken up the ‘smuggling’ that made a large number of intelligence agents instantly rich, he added.   #