Arrested NGO employees produced in court in Maungdaw

Maung Aye

Maungdaw: Three NGO employees who have been arrested for their alleged involvement in recent violent attacks in Maungdaw were produced in the district court in the town on Tuesday.

Maungdaw watch tower

The three suspects include a woman known as Cholaymar Khatoon and two other males. They were brought from the headquarters of Nasaka in Kyikanpyin and produced in the court for a hearing on their case.

“Cholaymar was produced in court. It is heard that she was charged with treason and on the allegation that she reported the activities of authorities’ departments here to abroad”, said a source in the Maungdaw District Court on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, Cholaymar is a resident of Thandwe and had been working as an employee in UNHCR in Maungdaw. She first came to Maungdaw as a school teacher, later she resigned from her teacher position and had also worked for a Japanese NGO known as BAJ in the town before joining the UNHCR.

A resident of Maungdaw close to the authorities also confirmed that Cholaymar was produced in the court.

“Yes, the woman is known as Cholaymar and she is one of the employees of the NGO here. She was arrested for her involvement in recent violent attacks in our town and was produced in court yesterday”, said the resident.

Another resident also said he witnessed Daw Cholaymar and two other men brought to the court on Tuesday’s morning.

“She and two other men were brought to the court around 9:30 am yesterday, but I do not know they were produced in court on what charges. After their hearings, they were brought back to the Nasaka headquarters because they are being held there and not in the police station”, said the resident.

Cholaymar was said to be arrested together with a man identified as Ali by the police on 14th of June at Three-mile check-post and were transferred to the Nasaka headquarters in Kyikanpyin.

Another man identified as Dr. Tun Aung (a) Nur Haque was arrested from the UNHCR office in Maungdaw in connection with violent attacks in the area around 12 pm on 11th of June.

Daw Mya Nandar Aung, a senior officer of UNHCR in Maungdaw and daughter of Dr. Tun Aung, along with her two companions were also arrested by the authorities on 11th of June at airport in Sittwe, but they were released on the same day.

News is also spreading in Sittwe that an employee of the AZG (Doctors without Borders) identified as U Kyaw Hla Aung from Ma Gyi Myine Ward in the town was also arrested on similar charges and was produced in court on Tuesday, but Narinjara was unable to get independent confirmation on the news.

It was reported in the Seven Day and the Weekly, the journals published inside Burma, that the deputy representative of AZG, Ms. Vickie Hawkins, had held a special press briefing on U Kyaw Hla Aung on 17th of June after he was arrested and the organization’s warehouses in Sittwe were raided by the authorities.

The Secretary of the information department of the Arakan State Government, U Win Myine, however, has declined that no NGO employee was arrest in connection with the recent violent unrest in the region.