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Rohingyas' Plight: The Cruel Fate of Rawnak
by Rohingya Human Rights
2009-04-07 09:10:29
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Rawnak is the daughter of the Rohingya Grand Mufti (Cleric) Maulana Ziaul Hoque. Maulana Ziaul Hoque is the Head Imam (Custodian) of the Grand Mosque of Sittwe, the capital city of Arakan State of Burma. Rawnak's Burmese name is Daw Nu. Her house address # No-18, Central Mosque Compound, Main Road, Sittwe, Burma.
Rawnak was born in 1963 in her home village: Kyawktaw Palong under Kyawktaw Township. She was living with her parents in Sittwe until she was given in marriage to one of their relatives U Ba Khin in 1984.
U Ba Khin was born in 1959 in their home village: Kyawktaw Palong under Kyawktaw Tonship. In 1995, he was shot dead by the Burmese navy in the Sittwe sea while he was on board his fishing boat together with some other Rohingyas. Others jumped into the water before the shooting and swam ashore later. The navy dumped his body into the water and thus perished.
However, on June 04, 2000, six Rohingyas from Kaywktaw Township arrived at the house of Maulana Ziaul Hoque, the father of Rawnak. They came to go to Rangoon. On the following day, they boarded a Rangoon-bound steamer but were arrested by the immigration police in Kyawk Phyu on their way to Rangoon. However, upon the message from the Kyawk Phyu police, the Sittwe police detained Maulana Ziaul Hoque on the charge of helping the detained 6 Rohingyas to travel to Rangoon. Then Rawnak went to police station alone and informed the police that her father did not know anything about those detained Rohingyas and that it is she who allowed them to stay at their house and then go to Rangoon.
Then police released Maulana Ziaul Hoque and arrested Rawnak on June 21, 2000 and then she was sent to Kyawk Phyu police by steamer. In the Sittwe Police station, police tortured her so inhumanly that at the time of taking her on board the steamer, people saw her limping as she can not walk while the male police was dragging her behind. Her one eye was swollen like a guava. Her lips were swollen and stains of thick blood was seen in one side of her face.
Rawnak has 4 children - three daughters and one son. The name of her daughters are Noor Hafiza, Sayed Nisa, Zebor Nisa and the name of her son is Ekramul Hoque. Her son Ekramul Hoque was 6 years old when Rawnak was arrested. However, now it is 9 years that the children of Rawnak could not see her for once as there is no scope for them to travel to Kyawk Phyu.
Rawnak is now in Kyawk Phyu jail. She was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Her Case Nr: 21/2000 which was later changed by the Rangoon High Court as 530/B. Her Prisoner Nr: 5184-C.
The story of 6 imprisoned Rohingyas: Case Nr # 21/2000: The 6 Rohingyas for whom Rawnak was charged of helping them to travel to Rangoon were arrested on June 06, 2000 in Kyawk Phyu district. They boarded a Rangoon-bound steamer on June 05, 2000. Until June 19, 2000, they were detained and quizzed by the Special Branch where they have been tortured so inhumanly that they had to sign confessional statement as per the desire of the SB Police that they are Bangladeshi immigrants.
On June 19, 2000, they were handed over by the SB Police to the police station at Kyawk Phyu. On July 22, 2000, they were produced before the court where the Rohingyas denied of being the Bangladeshi immigrants and they claimed themselves as the Burmese citizens. Then the Kyaw Phyu police sent them back to police custody on remand. Police quizzed them for 6 months in their custody until December 31, 2000. Finally, they were forced to agree to give confessional statement and then the police produced them before the court on Dec 31, 2000. The court sentenced each of them to 20 years rigorous imprisonment including a 14-year old Mamat Hashim. Now they are all in Kyawk Phyu jail. They include Maung Aye Sirajuddin with Prisoner Nr: 5180/C, Maung Aye Maung Yousuf with Prisoner Nr: 5158/C and Maung Ba Sein Nabi Awal with Prisoner Nr: 5177/C.
However, Mamat Hashim was there with them as he was trying to go to his father who some how reached Rangoon earlier. The testimonial issued by the school for Mamat Hashim and which was submitted to the court certified his 14-years of age at the time of prosecution. The school testimonial mentioned his date of birth as Oct 15, 1985. The Kyawk Phyu High Court sentenced Mamat Hashim for total 20 years (6 years under Section Nr: 420/109, 7 years under Section Nr: 468/109 and 7 years under Section Nr: 473/109).
Mamat Hashim is now in Kyawk Phyu jail. He is now 23 years old. He still could not see his father and on the other hand, his mother died on December 2007 in their home village Nahirong under Kyawktaw Township, after being lost her mental balance for several years before her death. Mamat Hashim still does not know that his mother died.
However, Rawnak has lost her husband. Her children have lost the love and affection of their mother. She has lost everything simply because of being a Rohingya, a community which the Burmese military regime does not recognize as the citizens of Burma. They treat the Rohingyas as Bengali immigrants in Arakan where the Rohingyas have been living centuries after centuries. Rawnak is now at the brink of death. If the international community can find out some way to secure release of Rawnak, she can come back to life and to her children.
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