Over 300 arrested Rohingya sentenced to prison terms, others shot dead by junta

The Ayeyarwady Myanmar Muslim Network has reported that over 300 individuals, including Rohingya women and children, who were arrested within a span of six months in the Ayeyarwady Region, have now been sentenced by the Military Council, Burma News International reports.

It has been reported that some Rohingya individuals intercepted who entered Kyangin Township by land were shot and killed by the Junta’s troops.

During the period from January 2023 to June 30, 2023, out of the 457 Rohingya women and men who were apprehended for crossing into the Ayeyarwady Region, 325 of them have been subjected to court orders by the relevant courts of the Military Council under Section 6 (3) of the Residents Registration Act.

“During the previous NLD government, they were sent back to Rakhine State but now, after the coup, they are being imprisoned. Moreover, the phones and money confiscated from those who were arrested have not been returned,” said a local Myanmar-Muslim youth.

They have been charged under Section 6 (3) of the Residents Registration Act, and some of them have received prison sentences of 2 years, while others have been sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment. They are currently being held in various prisons within the Ayeyarwady Region.

It has also been reported that individuals under the age of 18 are being sent to youth vocational training school.

According to individuals close to the court, the Rohingyas who entered the Ayeyarwady Region and subsequently faced arrest and imprisonment are predominantly individuals residing in rural areas within Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Sittwe, Kyee Kan Pyin regions of Rakhine State. It includes those who have left the refugee camps located in Rakhine State.

Some of the arrested Rohingyas, were intercepted by the Junta’s Navy near the Myanmar Sea coast. They were being transported by labor brokers via water routes with the aim of finding work in Malaysia.

According to officials from organizations that provide social assistance to the arrested Rohingya, a tragic incident occurred where some Rohingya individuals who arrived via the sea route lost their lives when their boat sank. it has been reported that some Rohingya individuals who entered Kyangin Township by land were shot and killed by the Junta’s troops.

“They are mainly Myanmar individuals from Rakhine State who departed their homeland in pursuit of livelihood opportunities. Unfortunately, they have been arrested and imprisoned, resulting in the violation of their civil and human rights. Additionally, they are falling victim to trafficking,” expressed a member of the Ayeyarwady Myanmar Muslim Network.

According to an official from the Immigration Department, the Ayeyarwady Region shares both water and land borders with Rakhine State. Rohingyas from Rakhine State in Myanmar  frequently navigate through the region, specifically passing through townships like Pathein, Chaungthar, Shwethaungyan, Ngayokaung, Hainggyi, Ngapudaw, Bogale, Myaungmya, Wakema, Yegyi, Kyangin, and Thabaung.

In 2022, approximately 700 Rohingya men, women, and children who entered the Ayeyarwady Region were arrested by the Military Council, prosecuted under immigration law, and subsequently sentenced to prison terms, according to sources close to the regional justice department.

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