Sittwe: There are now already 31 Arakanese who were arrested after imposing section 144 and sentenced to imprisonment starting from 2nd July on the charge of violating the law in Sittwe, the capital city in Arakan State.
“So far as we know, the people who were arrested on the charge of violating the law will be produced in the township court starting from 2ndJuly and sentenced to imprisonment. There are now already 31 peoples convicted on that charge. Each of them was punished with six months in prison”, said U Aung Mra Kyaw, a lawmaker of Sittwe Township for the state parliament.
The imprisoned peoples are said to be Arakanese who were arrested after imposing section 144 on 10th of June in Sittwe.
“Some of them were arrested because they violated the law, but there are also some of them who carelessly and honestly came out from their houses and were arrested. We have learned that there are more people being arrested on the charge. Please contact our office for more detailed information”, said the lawmaker.
When the office of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party was contacted, the official on duty told Narinjara as follows.
“We have got a detailed list of over 20 people. They were arrested and sentenced to six-months imprisonment on section 188 of violating the authorities’ imposed law”, said the official.
He said that there were innocent peoples among those arrested and jailed such as Ko Kyaw Win Maung, a goldsmith from Mawlate Ward in Sittwe, who was arrested while he was closing down his shop and sentenced to imprisonment.
“There are mostly youths who are being arrested. Two youths were arrested and produced in court on Friday on the charge of violating the curfew imposed under section 144. Such arrests are being made not only in Sittwe, but also in other townships as well”, he said.
The RNDP’s official also said over 30 residents in Taungup and 13 residents in Kyauktaw have been arrested on similar charges and transferred to Sittwe Prison for their imprisonment.
Narinjara contacted Daw Aye Nu Sein, the lawyer voluntarily advocating on the defense of the arrestees, for information about her clients, but she was said to not be at home and on her travel to Minbra.
According to the RNDP’s official, the Burmese authorities in Sittwe have mainly targeted Arakanese people for arrest and imprisonment, but no effective action is yet taken to Muslim people despite their perpetual attacks on the Arakanese people in fear of pressure from international organizations and the world’s Islamic organizations that include the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).