Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Burma: On the run from security forces - for having more than two children

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Four-villager have gone into hiding since January 20, to evade arrest by Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) for having more than two children flouting the agreement between Nasaka and them, said a close relative of one of the victims.

The villagers are identified as Abdu Salam (42), son of Fazal Ahmed, Dildar Hussain (27), son of Basa Meah, Nurul Amin (25), son of Abdul Hakim, and Md. Sayed (32), son of Tofile Ahmed. They all belong to Sarfaddin village of Nasaka area No. 6 under Maungdaw Township.

The local Nasaka has been after them since January 20, to arrest them on account of having more than two children. They had an agreement with the Nasaka that they will not have more than two children. This agreement was arrived at when marriage permission was given. But, at present, they have more than two children each.

On that day, some Nasaka personnel of Nasaka area No.6 went to the village to collect family lists and to take photographs of the villagers and completed the lists and photographs on January 21, excluding the said villagers’ family lists. They were excluded because of defying the marriage agreement. But, they were summoned to the local Nasaka camp to complete their family list. But, the villagers did not dare to go to Nasaka camp because they would be arrested. After that they would be tortured and the Nasaka will demand lots of money for their release. So, they have gone into hiding, said another relative of the victim.

A village elder said on condition of anonymity, “The Nasaka always finds new methods, to extort money from Rohingya villagers. This is the first time that the Nasaka attempted to arrest villagers who have more than two children.”

Incidentally, the Rohingya villagers are compelled to pay the money that the Nasaka demands because they have no option. If they are detained and tortured by the authorities continuously, no one could come forward to save them as they (authorities) are the plaintiff as well as the chief justice, said an elderly villager who preferred not to be named.

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