Thursday, April 03, 2008

Burma: Thirty five boat-people jailed, 42 others detained

Source: Kaladan Press Network Please visit and show your support and appreciation

Thirty five boat-people were sentenced to three to seven years in prison on March 23 in Sittwe and 40 others were detained on March 30, in Maungdaw.
On March 10, 35 boat-people were arrested by immigration officials in Sittwe when they were preparing to go to Malaysia in an engine boat from Sittwe (Akyab), the capital of Arakan State.

Of the arrested 26 were men, seven were women and two were children. They were residents of different parts of Sittwe Township.

On March 23, they were handed out jail terms. The men were jailed for seven years while women were given three year jail terms.

Similarly, on February 11, seventy two people including 30 Bangladeshis were traveling to Malaysia in an engine boat from Shapuri Dip in Bangladesh. But the engine boat stalled and floating and reached to near Rangoon. People fishing in the sea saw the boat and informed the nearby Burmese naval base.

Navy personnel went to the spot in two speed boats and seized the engine boat and arrested the people. They were brought to Rangoon port and detained in a guest house. They were later sent to Sittwe and then to Maungdaw Town on March 29.

However, on March 30, Major Myo Nay Aung , the deputy director of Nasaka, Burma's border security force, HQ of Maungdaw Township, handed over 30 Bangladeshi boat-people to the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR). But the 42 Burmese Rohingya boat people were detained in Maungdaw Town.