Burma Army Tortures Villagers Suspected of Supporting Arakan Army

  • Written by Narinjara
  • Published in Narinjara
Aid Supplies being Unloaded from a Boat at Sapa Seik Village Aid Supplies being Unloaded from a Boat at Sapa Seik Village

Villagers from Welgyi Chaung and Linsin Yoarthit villages in Kyauktaw Township, Arakan State, were arrested and tortured by the Burma Army according to other villagers.

They said that about 70 villagers are still under arrest and were tortured from 23 to 28 April.

A villager, who did not want to give his name said: “We were accused of supporting the Arakan Army (AA) and arrested. Some of [the arrested] villagers’ had their heads split and their hands broken. The arrested villagers were held at a primary school located between Welgyi Daunt and Linsin Yoarthit villages.”

When Narinjara News asked the administrator of Kyauktaw Township what had happened, he replied that he could not say for sure because the area was in a battle zone.

He said: “Prominent residents and parliamentary members from Sittwe went to give donations to war refugees in Sapar Seik Village. There is enough aid for the war refugees, the Arakan State Governement also contributed a lot more [aid]. I do not know about the arrests because that area is a battle zone.”

On 29 April U Saw Nyein a member of the Arakan State Parliament and a member of the Kyauktaw Parliament Members’ Group who went to Sapar Seik Village to take donations to the refugees said that he had met with 11 arrested people.

He said: “I don’t know whether the villagers were arrested or tortured. I arrived at the monastery in Linsin Yoarthit Village and could make a donation. We met with the abbot and the village administrator. We did not enter into the village because it was about to get dark. We met with 11 people who had been arrested, some of them are under interrogation.

Burma Army columns have been searching for the AA’s stored weapons, ammunition and supplies in areas where there has been fighting. People they are suspicious of and people who appear to be involved with the AA are being arrested and interrogated.

Unfortunately Narinjara News could not reach the relevant officials from the Burma Army to interview them about the situation.

Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI