Junta forces arrest 31 Rohingya in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region

The group was stopped as its boat neared Shwe Thaung Yan beach in Pathein township.
By RFA Burmese
2022.09.19
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Junta forces arrest 31 Rohingya in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region Some of the 31 Rohingya who were arrested off Ayeyarwady region’s coast on Sept. 18, 2022.
Shwe Yaung A Lin Tan

A total of 31 Rohingya and five boatmen were arrested as they neared a beach at Nwei Nyo Chaung village in Ayeyarwady region’s Pathein township, locals told RFA.

A resident, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, told RFA 19 Rohingya men and 12 women were arrested by junta forces on Sunday, along with a child under the age of 18 and the boat’s crew.

“They came from Rakhine State,” said the local. “They came by boat and the boat drivers were paid to carry them. Many people who get into Ayeyarwady region are often arrested.”

The resident said the Rohingya were sent to Pathein Prison on Monday morning. He added that they may have been living in Maungdaw town in Rakhine State and left because of an increase in fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and military council forces in the area.

RFA has been unable to confirm where the Rohingya came from.

Ayeyarwady region lies directly south of Rakhine State and continues to attract Rohingya fleeing unemployment, hunger and discrimination as well as fighting between junta troops and the AA.

On Sept. 7 and 9 a total of 58 Rohingya were sentenced to two years in prison each at Bogale township court. They had been arrested on Aug. 29 near Ga Yat Gyi (Kat Tar) island in Ayeyarwady’s Pyapon township.

On July 23, this year, 22 Rohingya men and 24 women were arrested by the junta’s navy, also near Pathein township's Shwe Thaung Yan beach.

The arrests have not been confined to Ayeyarwady. On Sept. 4, a total of 28 Rohingya were arrested in Letpadan township in the western part of Bago, according to locals. Bago is on the eastern border of Rakhine State.

From December 2021 to September 6, 2022, nearly 800 Rohingya who tried to leave Rakhine State by land or water were arrested in various parts of Myanmar, according to data compiled by RFA based on the statements of residents and local news media.

A military crackdown on the Rohingya, which started five years ago, led to more than 740,000 Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

Of the more than 600,000 Rohingya who stayed in Myanmar an estimated 125,000 have been confined to camps in Rakhine State.

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