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Statement No. (2/2014) of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission regarding findings of Commission Team from its investigation of the incident at Ducheeratan village-tract PDF Print E-mail

Statement No. (2/2014) of Myanmar National Human Rights

Commission regarding findings of Commission Team from its investigation of the incident at Ducheeratan village-tract

 

1. A team from the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) comprising the Secretary and three members visited Sittway and Maungtaw Townships and made a tour of Ducheeratan Village-tract from

30 January to 3 February 2014, in order to investigate the news reports on the incident that had occurred at Ducheeratan middle village.

 

2. During the trip, the Commission Team carried out the following activities with regard to:

(a) the news of the killing of 8 Bengalis,

(b) the news of 40 Bengalis killed in the police shooting in connection with

the attack on the police patrol team by a group of Bengalis from

Ducheeratan middle village on the night 13 January, and

(c) the Internet news that Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) treated 22

patients wounded in the abovementioned shooting:

- met and had discussions with some Ministers of the Rakhine State

on 30 January and 3 February 2014 and took statements from the

relevant responsible officials

- took statements from officials concerned, including three high-

ranking police officials, District Administrator and also from the

Administrator of Kinchaung village, some villagers, and four

detainees being remanded and under investigation at the Maungtaw

Police Station

- interrogated both male and female villagers from Ducheeratan

middle village and surrounding Bengali villages and took statements

from them

- met with about 20 village elders and Islamic religious leaders from

the Ducheeratan village-tract at the primary school of Ducheeratan

middle village and verified with them the news of the killing of 8

and 40 Bengalis

- met with over 200 women from Ducheeratan middle village and

heard and noted their complaints on the Ducheeratan incident and

took statements from some of them

- had discussions with the representatives of UNHCR, UNOCHA and

Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF)

- had discussions with Rakhine townelders of Maungtaw Township

- had discussions with Islamic religious leaders and elders of

Maungtaw Township

- conducted an inspection tour of Ducheeratan villages,including

Ducheeratan west village where a fire broke out on 28 January 2014

- inspected the former cemetery of Khayay Myaing village

 

3. The following are the facts found out by the Commission Team from the above-

mentioned activities.

 

(a) The news report that 8 Bengalis were killed on 9 January 2014 was not

known in Khayay Myaing and Kinchaung villages where Rakhine

nationals live. However, this news was rumored in Ducheeratan     middle

village and other villages where Bengalis reside.

 

(b) Although the information that a woodcutter discovered 8 Bengalis buried

at the Khayay Myaing cemetery emerged in Ducheeratan Bengali

villages, no evidence was detected to confirm this information.

 

(c) On interrogation, it was found that Rakhine nationals obtained this

information as Internet news.

 

(d) Neither in meeting with the elders and religious leaders of the

Ducheeratan village tract nor in meeting with over 200 women of

Ducheeratan middle village, mention was made by any of them of this

information.

 

(e) Different news versions of the killing of 8 Bengalis could not be

confirmed.

 

(f) It was known that some army and police forces entered Ducheeratan

villages to search for police Sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein after the incident

at Ducheeratan middle village on the night of 13 January 2014.

 

(g) Regarding the killing of 40 Bengalis from Ducheeratan village, the

Commission Team took statements from the departmental officials

concerned, high ranking police officials and policemen, responsible

persons from the villages concerned, Bengali elders and women from

Ducheeratan villages. These statements, however, contained no

information that substantiate the alleged news of killings.

 

(h) Although the Commission Team urged Bengali religious leaders and \

women to frankly come forth with their views, no proof was discovered

to confirm the alleged news.

 

(i) The Commission Team observed that the statements made by Bengali

villagers did not contain any Information on the attack by villagers on the

Police patrol commanded by police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein.

 

(j) Discrepancies were noted in the news on the alleged killings of Bengalis.

for example, it was reported that over 100 people were killed during the

police shooting on 13 January 2014 while the news that a list of 52

people killed given to the Human Rights Commission was found to be

incorrect. In fact, such a list was not given to the Myanmar National

Human Rights Commission.

 

4. In the discussion with MSF, it was stated by MSF that 22 people which included

 

1 person with gunshot wound, 4 people with swellings, 10 people with cuts and

bruises and 7 emotionally upset people, were treated by them. However, MSF

did not provide the patients’ names and identities to the Commission Team as it

keeps the patients list as confidential due to the humanitarian nature of its work.

MSF also stated that they did not report the case of gunshot wound either to the

police to the government health department and that it merely urged the patient

to continue his treatment at a government clinic. According to the township

medical officer, no government clinic in Maungtaw received any patient with

gunshot wound. However, as a result of the investigations by District

Administrator and Township Medical Officer, it was also learnt from two

doctors of the MSF that their clinics did not treat any such patients.

 

5. The Commission Team discussed its findings with other members of the

Commission on 5 February 2014 and reaches the following conclusions and

recommendations:

 

- The news of the killing of 8 Bengalis and 40 Bengalis did not emerge in

the Ducheeratan village-tract and It is therefore concluded that the said

news is unverifiable and unconfirmed

 

- The government departments and organizations concerned delayed in

issuing the news on the true Situation regarding the incident at

Ducheeratan middle village and this delay gave rise to the spread of

rumors and unsubstantiated news

 

- The Commission concludes that the attempt of the 3 policemen to stop the

attack of a group of Bengali Villagers failed due to defective ammunition

and led to a confused situation that finally resulted in the disappearance of

the police sergeant Aung Kyaw Thein. It is recommended that necessary

steps should be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the

future.

 

- The villagers from Ducheeratan east and middle villages fled on 13

January 2014 and as a result, the Looting of their possessions, rice stocks

and cattle must have occurred during the ensuing commotion. It Is

therefore recommended that steps should be taken urgently to provide food

and other basic needs to the two villages in question.

 

- In view of the continued tensions and concerns among the villages

involved in the Ducheeratan incident, Special security arrangements should

be initiated as a matter of priority to prevent further issues from Emerging

again in those areas.

 

 

Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Date: 14 February 2014

Yangon

 

Contact Address

Embassy of Myanmar, Bandar Seri Begawan,
Brunei Darussalam

Phone: 673 2451 960/ 2451 961
Fax: 2451963
Email: embassymyanmar.brunet@gmail.com
Web: www.mebandarseribegawan.org