Narinjara News


Coxs Bazar, April 29



Bangladesh, Burma Exchanged 192 Prisoners

Bangladesh and Burma exchanged 192 prisoners on 27th April after a flag meeting between Nasaka, Burma border security forces and BDR, Bangladesh Rifle in Taknef (a border town of Bangladesh), according to a report issued by border officials.


Bangladeshi authorities handed over 172 Burmese prisoners to Burma Nasaka Officials while Burma authority handed over 20 Bangladeshi prisoners to Bangladeshi BDR.


Among the Burmese prisoners, one child and 3 women were included in the exchange, said a Nasaka official.


Presently, about 572 Burmese prisoners are in Bangladeshi jails awaiting repatriation to Burma, but Burmese authorities accepted only 172 prisoners in the first round of exchanges.


The fates of 400 remaining Burmese prisoners in Bangladeshi jails are unknown at the present time, said an official.


In Burmese jails there are 43 Bangladeshi prisoners but Burmese authorities handed over only 20 Bangladeshi prisoners.  Among them, 16 were fishermen who were arrested by Nasaka on 4 April this year and 4 were woodcutters.


Burmese and Bangladeshi authorities have agreed to exchange each other's prisoners as of 12 March 2005, but Burmese authorities continually postponed the date of exchange due to Burmas doubt regarding the number of Burmese prisoners in Bangladesh.


Burmese authorities finally accepted their prisoners from Bangladesh after the flag meeting.  However, Burmese authorities can interrogate Burmese Prisoners when they arrive back at their homeland, said a teacher from Maungdaw.


Official sources said the exchanged prisoners were mostly fishermen from both nations who had mistakenly overstepped the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. #



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