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October 24, 2021

The Rohingya living in Maungdaw District are excessively being extorted by the authorities forcing them to take various documents while traveling for daily necessities between Maungdaw and Buthidaung in Arakan, reports our staff correspondent.

During the previous military dictatorship, the Rohingya had to take Form 4 from the District Immigration Office to travel from Maungdaw to Buthidaung. and vice versa. After the democratic government came to power, only the holders of the National Registration Card (NRC) were, without taking any other travelling documents, allowed to travel.

After BGP (Border Guard Police) camps along the border area in Maungdaw, had been attacked in 2016, Form-4 from immigration was not issued but allowed the NVC and the NRC holders to travel within the district, a town-dweller of Maungdaw reported to Rvision.

But under the current military council, starting from October, those traveling with NRC are required to obtain a letter of recommendation from the relevant administrator. Β Travelers are being sent back at the Maungdaw and the Buthidaung BGP checkpoints if they fail to show family census, recommendation letter and Form 4 to the authorities, the town-dweller added, the town-dweller continued.

At present, the fee for issuing a Form 4 is 8,000 Kyat. It costs up to 20,000 Kyats to get a letter of recommendation from the administrator with two passport photos.

β€œThis is a racial and religious persecution.  Authorities have set up a trap to extort money from us. Rohingyas in Maungdaw cannot provide food and water to prisoners in Buthidaung Prison. And it is a rude mechanism stopping the Rohingya patients coming to Maungdaw for treatment,” siad one of the victims.

Because of the reluctance and the lack of compassion of the authorities, the sufferings of those seeking medical treatment and visiting to provide the prisoners with food and daily necessities are increasing day by day.

According to a prudent activist, it is completely illogical for the Rohingya Muslims to be forced for NVC while the local authorities do not identify the NVC holders at the checkpoints.

Reported By: Kyaw Swa Min

Edited by:  Md. Shuaib