Narinjara News

 

Kyauk Pru, 10th June 2005 

 

 

Prisoners forced to work on road construction in Arakan


About 300 prisoners have been forced to work by Burmese authorities on the construction of the Rangoon-Kyauk Pru road.  They have been working on the road since the beginning of this summer, said a monk living in the area.

 

The work site is located near Paday Kyung village in Kyauk Pru Township, a district of Rambree Island in Arakan state.  One platoon of the Burmese army, Light Infantry Battalion 34, is strictly guarding the prisoners.


The prisoners typically work at the road construction site at least 12 hours a day, in two shifts.  The first work shift is from
6 am to 12 pm, the second shift is from 1 pm to 6 pm, the monk said.

As the Burmese government is intending to complete the motor-way between Rangoon and Kyauk Pru within this year, many workers are needed by the authority for the construction.

 

For this reason, the prisoners were brought out to work as day laborers.  The majority of the prisoners are reportedly from Akyab and Kyauk Pru jails.

 

According to local sources, 4 prisoners died at Kyauk Pru hospital recently, after falling sick due to fatigue.  There is reportedly an insufficient supply of food and drinking water being provided for the prisoners.

 

Currently, the Burmese authorities forcibly use prisoners for labor in many sectors, including as military porters at the front lines, day laborers on shrimp farms and as road construction workers, said one prisoner who was recently released from jail. #

 

 

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