RAKHINE – Shocking reports have surfaced about a 16-year-old Rohingya Muslim girl who was gang-raped after being arrested by police after a deadly crackdown on a remote village in Rakhine state which left dozens dead.
“I remember it clearly. Just before dawn the first Rakhine man came in. He raped me,” the 16-year-old Rohingya Muslim girl told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, February 5.
“Then the others came in, one by one. It was four Rakhine men, and three police officers.”
The girl’s misery started when she fled her home at Rakhine’s Du Chee Yar Tan village after it was set ablaze by Buddhist mobs.
Running for her life, she was arrested by police forces to start a new episode of humiliation and attacks.
After her illegal arrest the girl was not sent to the police station, they took her to a grocery shop.
“The police took me to a market place between Du Chee Yar Tan and the Rakhine Khayae Myuing village,” she said.
“They kept me in a grocery shop. Everything was locked,” she added.
In the grocery shop the girl was tortured by the police officers who failed to force her to convert to Buddhism.
“I said no, I refused to convert,” the girl said.
“They then beat me. I was slapped. Beaten with sticks,” she explained.
The girl’s rape followed the attack which was reported last month by UN humanitarian chiefs and human rights organizations .
The attack resulted in the massacre of at least 48 Rohingya Muslims, mostly women and children, in Burma’s western Rakhine State.
Official media and the Ministry of Information have strongly refuted the reports.
Yet, a Thailand-based NGO, the Arakan Project, said it had received multiple reports that dozens of Rohingya Muslims were killed by security forces and Arakanese Buddhists.
The incident, just the latest in a string of attacks that left at least 240 people dead and more than 140,000 homeless or displaced in prison-like camps, caused terror in the Muslim Yangon community.
After the incident, the 16-year-old girl couldn’t visit doctor as her family feared consequences.
The helpless family had given the girl a medicine to prevent pregnancy, which they got from a local makeshift pharmacy.
Seeking justice the complaining girl said: “I still remember their faces. I can point them out if I see them again.”
The girl’s rape case is not the first for Burmese as a report last year claimed that many Rohingya women have been raped by the Burmese military.
Described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, Rohingya Muslims are facing a catalogue of discrimination in their homeland.
They have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants in their own home.
The Burmese government as well as the Buddhist majority refuse to recognize the term “Rohingya”, referring to them as “Bengalis”.
Rights groups have accused the Burmese security forces of killing, raping and arresting Rohingyas following the sectarian violence last year.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been forced to flee their homes in western Burma since June after attacks from Buddhist mobs on their areas.
The violence has displaced nearly 29,000 people, more than 97 percent of whom are Rohingya Muslims, according to the United Nations.
Many now live in camps, adding to 75,000 mostly Rohingya displaced in June 2012, after a previous explosion of sectarian violence.