|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|
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
- interrogated both male and female villagers from Ducheeratan
middle village and surrounding Bengali villages and took statements
- 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
- 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-
(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
(e) Different news versions of the killing of 8 Bengalis could not be
(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
- 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
- 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