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November 06/2021

Rohingya women and men from some townships in Rakhine State are being trafficked and women are being raped in the jungle of the way as the government does not crack down on real traffickers, according to the locals.

 A recent statement from the Rakhine state government said 186 Rohingya victims of human trafficking were arrested in various parts of Rakhine State between October 8 and 26.

In Ontober, a total of 193 men and women, including 3 women from Kyek Ro Pyin, 3 from U Shin Kya village and 1 woman from Myoma Kyindan ward, were arrested by Burmese forces, according to the locals.

Rohingya teenagers fleeing the country to escape from unexpected torture of authorities as well as to find employment and the virgins leaving their homes to marry Rohingya men in Malaysia are compelled not to think losing their dignity and prestige.

The locals said, they are going to Malaysia by any means possible, regardless of security for life and traffickers are taking the advantage of the opportunity.

People recently arrested by the government in upper Rakhine State are form Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships and 96 percent of them are unmarried girls and only about 4 percent are young men, the locals added.

According to one of the victims, they were living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh and payed 6 million Kyats each to traffickers to travel to Malaysia by land and sea in Burmese territory.

Victims of human trafficking officially enter the country from the northern border of Maungdaw at noon, paying taxes to Border Guards Police of Myanmar, said a border-dweller.

Rakhine people carry them by motorbikes and Burmese soldiers carry them by car to Buthidaung.

Then, they are taken to Phong Nyi Leik village in Buthidaung Township, from where they are driven along the Buthidaung-Ponnagyun road until to reach at Aka Taung village in Rathedaung Township, the border-dweller added.

After that they are carried to Thae Chaung village in Sittwe by Rakhine boats and then send them to a town in Irrawaddy Division, he continued.

An escaped victim said there are several Burmese naval vessels along the sea in the voyage, and they do not arrest the trafficker’s boats as they too involve in human trafficking.

Dividing into several groups consisting of 10 or 15 people in each, they are instructed to walk to Thailand by five members of the human trafficking gang appointed in each group.

In general, the victims arrive in Thailand after walking for five to six days through forests and mountains , the victim said.

During the journey, women are forcefully injected contraceptives and raped by the traffickers while sleeping in the mountains at night, the victim said again.

An activist said traffickers from Bangladesh camp persuade the refugees. Arakan Army (AA) takes them to Irrawaddy Division. And the soldiers take them to Thailand walking through the jungle.

Reported By: Maung Wunna

Edited by:  Md. Shuaib