Over 50 Arakanese Buddhists Arrested in Recent Unrest

Sittwe: Over 50 Arakanese Buddhist people have been arrested so far by authorities in relation to the recent unrest in Arakan State, report locals and government sources.

According to a government report, 30 people have been arrested by authorities for three incidents that took place in Rambree, Taungup, and Sittwe in Arakan State.

Authorities made the arrests after interrogations by an inquiry team that was formed by the president for dealing with the events, from 7 to 25 June. The inquiry team submitted its report to President Thein Sein on 30 June.

On 28 May, 2012, Ma Thida Htwe was raped and murdered by three Muslim youths in Kyauk Ni Maw Village in Rambree Township. After that incident, ten Muslim pilgrims were killed by a Buddhist mob in Taungup, a town located in southern Arakan State in revenge for Ma Thida Htwe’s murder.

Another incident took place in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan, on 3 June when a police station was attacked by local people with stones and bottles. In that incident, 12 people were injured by fire from the police and 19 people were arrested.

In recent sectarian violence that took place between Buddhist and Muslim , 21 Arakanese Buddhists have been arrested by authorities so far for suspected involvement in the violence.

According to local sources, there are many people that have been arrested by authorities but no one knows the exact number of arrestees related to the recent unrest.

It was learned that over 800 people in Arakan State have appealed to President U Thein Sein recently to release the 21 Arakanese, saying they are innocent in the recent events.