Friday, January 25, 2008

Burma: Authorities torture imam to death

Police from Buthidaung town tortured to death the imam who led the prayer in the Monibill mosque of Buthidaung Township in northern Arakan, said a close relative of the victim yesterday.

On January 4, three policemen went to Monibill village of Aley Chaung village tract by motorbike at midnight and arrested Moulvi Alizoher (40), son of Dolo Meah, from the mosque while he was sleeping. He hailed from Phon Nyu Lake village of Buthidaung Township and had been working at the mosque since two years ago.

The police are identified as Corporal Than Aye, an ethnic Rakhine, Kyaw Zaya, an ethnic Chakma, and Aung Sein, an ethnic Chakma. Sub-inspector Mrat Htwe, a Burman, was in charge of the operation but did not go to Monibill. The ‘gang of four’ has been harassing the Rohingya community since killing a woman from Yaung Chaung village of Buthidaung Township in 2006.

A village elder said, “It is intolerable that police killed the man without any proof that he was involved in any crime.”

Moulvi Alizoher traveled to his native village of Phon Nyu Lake to visit his family on Thursday, January 3, and returned to his work on Friday just before his arrest. A close relative said that it is unknown why he was arrested and tortured since he didn’t commit any crime.

After the arrest, Moulvi was brought to Baga Mora, an isolated area outside of Monibill, where he was tortured severely. While he was going unconscious and rigorously bleeding, he was handcuffed and then carried to Buthidaung police station by motorbike. The two other police reportedly walked the three miles to the station.

However, on the way to police station, the motorbike was met by the Village Peace and Development Council chairman of Jabbar Para village and requested the police release Moulvi. After that, the village Chairman with cooperation of some villagers sent the victim immediately to Buthidaung General Hospital for medical treatment.

He was admitted to the hospital at about 12:30pm and was pronounced dead from severe bleeding at 2:00pm. Then corpse was then sent to the morgue for an autopsy.

According to the postmortem report of hospital, the victim’s kidneys and liver were completely destroyed.

When a doctor of hospital asked the police why the victim was beaten, police responded that it was their “duty to take necessary action against him,” according to the relative.

In the evening, Moulvi’s body was buried in his village graveyard, after attaining permission from police.

Source: Kaladan Press Network