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Myanmar Navy Detains 50 Rohingya Who Were Trying to Leave Country

Naval authorities bring in Rohingya boat people discovered in a vessel in waters off a beach near Pauk Hla Gyaing village, Panthein township, in southern Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region, Feb. 12, 2020~RFA video screenshot

The Myanmar Navy has detained roughly 50 Rohingya refugees at sea in southern Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region, while local authorities have apprehended five suspected human traffickers who allegedly helped them try to leave the country for an unknown destination, a local official said Thursday.

Naval authorities discovered the boat carrying the Rohingya Muslims Tuesday night near the beach of Pauk Hla Gyaing village in Pathein township, though their place of origin was not immediately known, said village administrator Myint Thein said.

“We don’t know exactly how many people were found onboard, but at least 48 Muslims are there,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service.

“The navy is detaining those people and awaiting orders from the officers,” he said. “Authorities are detaining five traffickers in the case.”

Myanmar military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said he had no information about the incident.

RFA was unable to reach Ayeyarwady region’s minister of labor, immigration, and population.

Kyaw Nay Min, a Muslim journalist and editor of the Yangon-based Chun Journal that reports on the Rohingya in Myanmar, said authorities should free the boat people.

“Those young people from Rakhine state are students, and they have difficulties in trying to go to school, and they don’t have job opportunities,” he told RFA. “That’s why they try to leave the state.”

“If the government is positive-minded, it should take care of them or send back to their original homes,” he added. “Moreover, the government should ask why these people are trying to run away.”

ICJ compliance

But rights activist Nicky Diamond at Southeast Asia-based Fortify Rights said the authorities should work with international aid groups to help the Rohingya boat people instead of sending back to Rakhine state.

“If the authorities take legal action to sentence them or to send them back, those are not the best ways to resolve the problem,” he said.

Fleeing persecution, poverty

In the last several years, tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled or attempted to flee persecution and poverty in Buddhist-majority Myanmar on boats organized by human traffickers and bound for other Southeast Asian nations, especially Muslim-majority Malaysia.

On Tuesday, at least 15 people drowned when an overloaded boat carrying 138 Rohingya refugees to Malaysia struck a slab of coral in shallow water and capsized in the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladeshi authorities have arrested nine suspected traffickers in the case, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.

In December 2019, the Myanmar Navy picked up more than 170 Rohingya in waters off southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region in the Andaman Sea as they attempted to leave Myanmar while they were traveling to a third country.

Most of them were confirmed as residents of Rakhine state and were sent back to their homes or to live with relatives if they did not have a home.

Reported by Kyaw Lwin Oo and Nayrein Kyaw for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Nayrein Kyaw. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

Kazakh Police Detain 20 After Funeral Of Civil Rights Activist Who Died In Custody

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Iran: Hiding the Spread of the Coronavirus and Repressing Independent Information

Immediately, Iraj Harirchi , director general of the ministry of health, denied the declaration of deputy Frahani and denounced a “propaganda war”, repeating the remarks made two days earlier by the supreme leader of the revolution Ali Khamenei. However, the next day, the member and the director general both learned that they were infected with the virus
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South Africa Olympic Gymnast

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Afghanistan: U.S.-Taliban Deal

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Bangladesh Court Bans 2 Books, Orders Them Removed from Literary Festival

The court’s ruling to ban the books, “Grandma’s Dictum” and “Dia Arefin,” – both works of non-fiction – and to order them removed them from stalls at the Ekushey Book Fair occurred on the fifth anniversary of the murder of U.S.-Bangladeshi secular blogger and writer Avijit Roy. He was killed in a machete-attack by Muslim zealots as he was leaving the literary festival
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