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Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             25, female
Family situation:    Married with two children
Occupation:          Farmer
                     Rakhine State (there was a NaSaKa camp in 
                     the village)

The witness left Myanmar in mid-1997. Her husband was
requisitioned by the NaSaKa for forced labour about two months
before she left for Bangladesh. He never came back. The
authorities came to her, when her husband was away, to
requisition him again. They suspected her of hiding him. She
was no longer able to stand the pressure on her and decided to
leave Myanmar to come to Bangladesh. Her husband had been
requisitioned many times for forced labour: collecting wood,
looking after soldiers' livestock, bringing water, carrying
soldiers' equipment and rations. Her husband was requisitioned
five or six times a month. Before he disappeared, her husband
had been requisitioned to work for a month. He was
requisitioned as a porter to accompany a NaSaKa patrol. The
men who had to carry out forced labour were subject to ill
treatment. Her husband had been beaten with a rifle on one
occasion when he had no longer been able to carry his load.
When the husbands were away, the women were often subjected to
sexual abuse. She had personally been sexually abused. The
order to carry out labour came from the military, who used the
services of the village head. The latter asked a messenger to
inform the men of the work they had to do. It was also
compulsory to pay the taxes demanded from time to time by the
military. The amount and the frequency depended on the
circumstances and the needs of the military.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             70, male
Family situation:    Twelve members (he and his wife and ten
Occupation:          Farmer
                     State (before influx there were 40        
                     families in the village, now four)

The witness indicated that soldiers came to a village near his
(named Poimali) and picked up three students for portering,
but they never returned. He feared the same may happen to his
sons, and this is why he came to Bangladesh. He arrived in
1991, with 20 other families from his village; he knows of
another ten families who came subsequently (some of these have
since returned). Every house in his village had to provide at
least one forced labourer, for up to 15 days at a time. If
there was more than one male who was old enough, then they
could take turns. The army took them as porters on patrol in
the hill areas. There were two military camps near his
village, one north, one south. Then it was the military, now
it has been renamed NaSaKa. The villagers had to build these
camps (the site would be selected by the military, then the
order would be given via the village head to build the camp).
The first army camps were built in the area in 1962-65; there
has been portering since 1975. At first it was once every
three or four months, but later (when he left) it had
increased so it was almost every day. Other forced labour
included working at the military camp (doing fencing and
cleaning). The villagers also had to provide chickens to the
military camp every month for food. He had three sons, who had
to go for forced labour in turns. During forced labour, if
anyone made a mistake in carrying out orders, they would be
beaten (with hand or other nearby object). He has seen people
return from forced labour wounded or sick (one person had a
dislocated ankle); he has heard of people who died during
forced labour, but has not seen it. There was no cash given
for forced labour, but food was given (not good food, but
edible, and only for the labourer, not family). They had to
give rice as a tax. Everyone had to give this tax, but Muslims
had to give twice as much as others. Also, monthly "donations"
had to be give for maintenance of the army camp (about 100
kyat per month, but it was variable). Rakhines did not have to
pay this money, or go for forced labour. People who couldn't
pay the tax would be detained and beaten, and their land would
be confiscated and given to Rakhine people. One month before
he came to Bangladesh (in the dry season) Rohingya villagers
went to the jungle to collect bamboo, as they always did.
Forty-five people went for 15 days to the jungle, and on their
return passed near to an army camp. They were seen by the camp
and forced to distribute all the bamboo and wood they had
collected to Rakhine families. People who have come to
Bangladesh after previously being repatriated claim that some
UNHCR projects required bricks, and this responsibility was
given to the NaSaKa. The NaSaKa opened a kiln, then forced
people to collect wood from the forest as fuel, without
payment, even though funds for this had been given to NaSaKa
by the UNHCR. People who had fled again after being
repatriated say they could not stay a second in peace after
being repatriated. That is why they fled again.

Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             38, male
Family situation:    Seven (he and his wife and five children)
Occupation:          His parents had a farm, he was a trader
                     and shopkeeper
                     State (village had 800 families)

In 1991, the witness was waiting (with others) by the road one
night for a rice shipment to arrive. An officer and four
soldiers came and rudely asked them what they were doing,
since they were out after curfew. They said they were waiting
for a rice shipment, and that the soldiers should understand
that they still had to do their work in spite of the curfew.
Soldiers took him as a porter, tying his wrists with a rope,
which they said was to prevent him from escaping. As they
moved, three more porters were also captured, and tied up
similarly. Then they came to a house with a light on, and the
soldiers called out, asking if there were any men in the
house. A woman's voice replied that there were not, but a
soldier went in to check, and then tried to rape the woman. He
did not know if the rape was carried out, because then the
husband returned and tried to stop the soldier. The soldier
hit the man three times on the head with a stick. The soldier
threatened the porters who had witnessed what happened not to
tell anyone. At this point the soldiers untied the witness,
and told him not to run away, or they would destroy his shop.
They then went to another house, but the man had run away, so
they took two chickens. The next house they went to there was
an old woman and two teenage girls, who were asleep in
sarongs. The soldiers ripped off their sarongs, and he thought
they would have raped them, but there were too many people
around. In that house there was a chest containing clothes.
The soldiers found 750 kyat in the chest, and took it together
with an umbrella, sarong and some blankets. The next house
they went to the soldiers raped a woman. In another house they
beat a man with a stick. In the next house, they hit the
younger sister of the village head, so she ran to another
house, and they followed her and hit the old woman in that
house. They collected porters that night until 2 a.m., then
returned to their camp. On the way back to the camp, a soldier
told him that if he bought him a bottle of alcohol, he could
be released. He bought a bottle for 250 kyat, and was
released. The next morning a lot of people around his shop
were talking and asking what had happened the previous night,
saying they had heard rumours. He waited to see what would
happen, and four police arrived asking if he had made trouble
with the soldiers, and saying that they thought the soldiers
would come and get him. That was when he left and came to
Bangladesh. He also had other experience with forced labour.
Soldiers used to come to his shop, and demand that he carry
provisions to their camp. He first did forced labour when he
was 15 (the first thing was portering for soldiers on patrol).
Portering would usually last for two to three days at a time,
and he sometimes had to go as often as once a week, but it
depended. The other villagers also had to do forced
labour--carrying things, and building and maintaining
army camps. (He said that the first army camps were built in
the area a long time ago, when the BSPP government came to
power.) There was also other kinds of forced labour;
everything imaginable, such as digging drainage ditches,
building roads, sweeping roads for mines, and all kinds of
work associated with maintaining army camps. Forced labour
started to increase after 1988. Now people have to go for 15
days or one month at a time, whereas before 1988 it was one
day per week. For the last two years, there have been at least
100 people at a time doing forced labour in his village. His
father and brother are still there and he sometimes has
contact with them, so he still gets information about the
situation in his village. During forced labour, the soldiers
swore at the villagers and beat them if they were slow, and
sometimes they also took money from them. He was beaten one
time when he was a porter. His load was too heavy, and he told
the soldier he could not carry it as he was not a manual
labourer and was not used to such heavy loads; the soldier got
a stick and beat him. People in his village also had to pay
taxes: whenever the army came to the village the people had to
give them food, oil, spices and chillies. It was not
systematic; sometimes twice a month, sometimes 4 times,
whenever the army came through. He left for Bangladesh because
he couldn't stand the situation any more. He left on his own,
but all together about 700 families left his village at that
time; some were still there, and others went back. Of those
who went back, many have fled again, but they did not come to
the camp where he was. Some were still coming out (50 families
have come recently, gradually, not all at the same time). The
recent arrivals gave him information about the current
situation. The situation now was not worse than before, but
not much better. If anyone  complains to the UNHCR, the NaSaKa
take revenge on them. People still had to work for 15 days a
month for the NaSaKa. The also worked about 15 days a month
for the UNHCR, for which they received rice, oil and beans;
when they worked for the NaSaKa, they only received a stick
(i.e. a beating). The NaSaKa were not involved in food payment
on UNHCR projects; the UNHCR had a representative who was
himself a Muslim, and he gave them the food directly. He had
not heard of the NaSaKa taking the food. 


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Family situation:    Ten (him, wife, six children,             
                     daughter-in-law, grandson)
Occupation:          Village head
                     State (village had 600 households at the  
                     time of his leaving) [village name        
                     withheld at the request of the witness]

The witness left Myanmar in 1990. He was involved with the
democracy movement, and after Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested
things started to get difficult for him and he had to flee.
There has been forced labour in his village since 1962, but it
increased greatly after the SLORC came to power in 1988. Now
it is the NaSaKa which demands forced labour; before the
NaSaKa was set up, it was the army. He had to provide 200
labourers from his village at a time to work at the NaSaKa
camps near the village. He had to rotate the 200 people, and
they would not be released until 200 replacements arrived.
There were no written orders. Army/NaSaKa camps had to be
built by the villagers. They had to build the entire camp, and
then maintain and repair it once it was built. Repairs had to
be carried out mainly at the end of each rainy season. There
were three camps near his village (at one, two, and four miles
distance from the village, respectively). One of the camps was
a small camp, and the village had to provide 50 people
permanently to work there, day and night. They had to provide
their own food. At one of the larger camps there was a shrimp
farm, where there were 400 people at one time from 22
different villages doing forced labour. The profits of the
shrimp farm would be kept by the military. All work related to
the shrimp farm had to be carried out by the villagers. For
example, the villagers would be ordered to collect a given
quantity of young shrimps from rivers to populate the shrimp
farm. They would then be required to provide a certain
quantity of cow manure to the shrimp farm on a regular basis.
If the villagers failed to provide the required quantity then
he, as the village head, would be put in stocks. This happened
to him several times, on one occasion for a period of five
days. Sometimes he was arrested and put in stocks as an
incentive for the villagers to carry out orders. The villagers
had to do all kinds of forced labour for the military/NaSaKa.
It was impossible to list all the different forms; anything
that needed to be done would be done using the villagers as
forced labour, such as collecting timber, collecting firewood,
digging trenches. He could not estimate the number of days per
month a villager would normally spend doing forced labour, but
five days per week with only two days to work for yourself
would not be unusual. The NaSaKa did not follow any laws;
"whatever came out of their mouths was the law". If a military
officer came from Yangon, the villagers would have to provide
food for the camp which was hosting him. The NaSaKa beat the
villagers. Many people were beaten to death during forced
labour. Even old people were forced to do labour, and were
punished for not working quickly by being thrown in the shrimp
pond. This was even done in winter, when it was very cold.
Many old people died in this way. When the authorities wanted
to build a secondary school the village had to provide 70,000
kyat for this. Whatever the military put their stamp on, the
villagers had to obey. There was also extortion in the form of
various taxes. A proportion of the rice crop had to be given
to the government, and another proportion to the NaSaKa, and
another proportion to the local Rakhines, and another
proportion to the Buddhist monastery (even though the
villagers were Muslim). "How would you feel if you paid 100
kyat to one soldier, then another soldier came up, and asked
for 200 kyat, and so on. That is why people left." There were
not many Rakhine people in his area, but those that there were
did not have to pay taxes or do forced labour. In his village
the Rohingyas were not forced to do work for the Rakhines. The
NaSaKa would come to the village head and find out who the
rich people were in the village. They would then arrest these
people, and accuse them of being rebel collaborators. They or
their families would then have to pay 10,000 kyat or 50,000
kyat or whatever the NaSaKa thought they could get for their
release. After they had gone around doing this in all the
villages, they came to him, because he was fairly rich. He had
inherited money from his father and had been able to build a
two-storey house. They arrested his eldest son. They tortured
his son for seven days. His son was forced to go across sharp
stones on his knees, and had thorns put in the soles of his
feet. He was also tortured with electricity. They did not know
why he was arrested; no reason was given. He was released
after seven days after the family paid 50,000 kyat. Then his
son was arrested again, this time for 40 days, on the charge
of being involved in politics. This was not true. He was
scared that his son would be sent to prison in Yangon, and
would die. He had to pay money again to get his son released.
The total he ended up paying for his son was 400,000 kyat. He
had to sell everything he owned to raise this money. He was
advised by friends that he should not continue to stay in the
village, or he would face more problems, so he decided to flee
to Bangladesh. This was during the rainy season. He told no
one, not even his mother. He left the village in the middle of
the night with his wife, six children, grandson and
daughter-in-law. He had some information about the current
situation in his village. He had heard that it was a little
better since the UNHCR established a presence than at the
time when he left, but there was still portering, forced
labour and high taxation. The amount of forced labour had
decreased, but there were now less people in the villages to
do it, so the actual amount that a particular villager had to
do had not decreased much. There had been a decrease in
portering, however. There were currently about 500 households
left in his village. 


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Sex:                 Male
Occupation:          Student

The witness, from the same village as witness 73 and present
during the testimony of that witness, added: "Buddhist people
have temples, and we Rohingyas have Mosques. But our Mosques
have been locked up by the authorities so we cannot pray.
Graveyards are holy places for any religion, but in our
village, an army camp was built on top of the graveyard. They
even opened an alcohol shop there. They specially pick out the
Muslims for persecution. They deliberately do things insulting
to our religion. They rape the women. Our religious leaders
are important to our life. They explain the meaning of
religious texts to us, but the authorities choose especially
these people to do forced labour. I had to do forced labour
while I was a school student. We were beaten while we were
doing the forced labour. Students from eighth, ninth and tenth
Standards had to do portering. People also had to do forced
labour building new villages for Buddhist Rakhines. Muslims
have no value and no freedom in Rakhine State."

Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             32, male
Family situation:    Married with one child
Occupation:          Soldier

The witness was present during the testimonies of witnesses 73
and 74, and added the following: he left Myanmar in 1994. He
was a Rohingya, but looked like a Rakhine. Muslims were not
allowed in the army, but they did not realise he was a Muslim.
He demonstrated in the 1988 uprising with other soldiers. At
that time the army discovered he was Muslim. Their reaction
was: "Oh no, we had a Muslim in our midst all this time and
didn't know". He saw the extent of anti-Muslim feeling in the
army when he was a soldier. Most soldiers, including the
high-ranking officers, were of the opinion that the best thing
was for all the Muslims to leave Myanmar, since it was not
their country. They wanted all the Muslims to pack up and
leave, and the policy was directed to that end.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             51, male
Family situation:    12 (him, wife and ten children)
Occupation:          Bicycle mechanic (owned a bicycle
                     repair shop)

The witness left Myanmar in 1992. The Government oppressed the
Rohingyas in many ways. They were not allowed to travel and
were discriminated against as Muslims (for example, they were
not allowed to have Muslim schools or do business freely).
Soldiers would take Muslims from the town to clean up their
army camp. This had been going on for decades. The soldiers
always said that they were not from Burma. There was one army
barracks in the town, but several battalions in the township.
They came in 1990. The camps and barracks were all built with
forced labour from the local people. The situation was worse
for people living in villages. The soldiers would force people
to move to make space for an army camp, and then those same
people would be forced to build that army camp. Once the army
camp was built, the people would be forced to move away, but
they would not be given any new place to go to. They were
told: "You are Indians. Go back to where you came from." The
soldiers would even take their money, saying "This is Burmese
money. You are an Indian, so you have no need of this money."
Whenever the soldiers moved, they took local people to carry
their things. They only took Muslims. They just grabbed
whoever they needed, often 100 or 200 people at a time. There
was no fixed period that someone would have to do this work.
They just had to continue for as long as the soldiers wanted
them, sometimes for as long as one or two months. Many people
died during portering. They gave the porters no money, and
they even would have to bring their own food. When all the men
ran away to avoid being taken as porters, the soldiers would
rape the women. This happened very often. Some girls were
taken away to the army camp and raped there; often they became
pregnant as a result. Sometimes the soldiers would kill the
girls who became pregnant. In one case, he knew of a girl who
was taken to an army camp and raped. She became pregnant, and
was kept at the army camp until she had the baby, but she died
during childbirth. There was also forced labour that the
people in Buthidaung town, including him, were forced to do by
the soldiers. They had to clean up the town, and construct
roads. There was usually no systematic way that this was
organised; the soldiers would just grab people. There was also
religious discrimination. The Muslims had no freedom of
religion. They could not have Muslim schools. They were
prevented from wearing Muslim clothing. They were told: "You
can't dress like that. This is not your country. If you want
to dress like that, go to your own country." The Muslims also
had to pay taxes and extortion which the Rakhine inhabitants
did not. Any time the soldiers wanted money, they would just
demand it. The people gave them money, but it just got worse,
because the people were very poor, and they were always being
asked for more money. He was often taken from his bicycle
repair shop for forced labour and portering. Rakhine people
did not have to do forced labour.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             44, male
Family situation:    Eight (him, wife and six children)
Occupation:          Teacher
                     State [village name withheld at the       
                     request of the witness]

The witness left Myanmar in 1992 with his family and his elder
brother. In 1990 the villagers had to build an army camp. They
had to provide their own food, and were beaten by the soldiers
while doing this work. Also in 1990, some villagers' land was
confiscated and given to Rakhine families. They had to
continue to work on the land for the Rakhine families. They
were forced to do this by the army, and were not paid. His
land was not taken. 

Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             45, male
Family situation:    Ten (him, wife and eight children)
Occupation:          Township clerk; his family did farming

The witness left Myanmar in 1991. He had his land confiscated
and an army camp was built on it. He and other people were
forced to build this camp. He also did portering. While he was
away portering one time, his wife was raped by soldiers. This
happened on the 21 February 1991. That was when he decided to
come to Bangladesh. He was a township clerk, and had to
arrange for people to do forced labour. He also had to do
forced labour himself. If he could not do forced labour, he
had to pay a substitute 30 to 50 kyat per day. When he did not
have money he would have to go himself.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             36, male
Family situation:    Five (him, wife and three children)
Occupation:          Businessman

The witness came to Bangladesh in 1992 because of excessive
taxation and forced labour. He could not continue to run his
business and do forced labour. He was a trader, a middle-man
for trade from Yangon. As of 1990 it was impossible for him to
travel any more, and the traders he worked with from Yangon,
who were also Muslim, could not travel to him. Some of the
Muslims in Sittway had their houses confiscated. They also had
to do forced labour. There were about 12,000 soldiers in the
area. Locals had to carry supplies to the camps of these
soldiers. This started after 1988. He only did forced labour
once, in 1988. He was taken as a porter for 15 days in the
jungle. The Muslims also had to pay very high taxes, which the
Rakhines did not have to pay. As a businessman he usually
managed to avoid forced labour, and the worst of the taxes.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             30, male
Family situation:    Married with two children
Occupation:          Fisherman
                     State (village had about 3,000 families)

The witness left Myanmar in early 1997 with his family. More
than 400 families have left his village. He had to do forced
labour for the military in the mountains. He had to collect
wood, act as porter and stand guard, since the village was
near the border with Bangladesh. He had to work on average at
least once a week. He had to do forced labour from the age of
15. He continued until his departure from Myanmar. He had to
bring his own food. He was not paid. It was not possible to
refuse because any reluctance could result in a beating. He
had never refused but he knew people who had and who had been
badly beaten. All the families in the village had to provide
one man to perform the work. The order to carry out the work
came from the military, who transmitted it through the village
head. He had to pay money for the construction of schools and
all kinds of activities (social, religious or sporting) of the
military or Rakhines. If it was not possible to pay, they then
had to do additional work in the camps. They had to pay these
taxes at least three times a month.


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             60, male
Family situation:    Widower with two sons
Occupation:          Farmer
                     Rakhine State (village had about 300      
                     families; military camp and military      
                     intelligence camp nearby)

After the death of the witness's wife, he often had to be away
to carry out forced labour. Then there was no one to look
after his sons. He left with his children in early 1997. More
than 100 families have left his village to his knowledge. With
regard to forced labour, he had to do more or less everything
in the military camp: prepare food, wash clothes, collect
wood. The assignment could last up to three days or as much as
seven days. He had to work on average ten to 12 times a month.
The day generally began at dawn and ended at 7 or 9 p.m. He
was not paid. He had to bring his own food. It was impossible
to refuse because those who did were systematically arrested.
He had never himself refused. It was possible to pay a 
substitute to carry out the designated work. He did forced
labour for the first time at the age of 30. He continued until
his departure. The order came from the military, who
transmitted it through the village head. The men recruited for
the work were subjected to ill treatment. He himself had been
beaten when he fell asleep at work. Seventeen people from his
village had been killed just before he left. His village had
been subjected to reprisals by the military because members of
the RSO were supposed to have taken refuge there. He had to
pay an average of 40 kyat a week in taxes. That was the amount
payable by the poorest. If there was a decision to build a
camp, it was built by forced labour and financed by the
payment of taxes. That was how the camp near his village was
built. The taxes were also used to pay for the various
activities of the military. 


Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Age/sex:             40, male
Occupation:          Farmer
                     State (village had 52 families)

The witness came the first time in 1991/92 with several
families from his village. Ten stayed and several later went
back to Myanmar. He himself went back in 1994 and returned to
Bangladesh late in 1996. With regard to forced labour, the
situation had worsened between his two periods in Bangladesh.
Previously, he had to do six to eight days a month. Before
leaving the second time, the number of days had been raised to
around ten to 15 days a month. He did forced labour for the
first time at the age of ten or 12. He had continued until his
departure. He had been requisitioned to build a military camp,
collect wood and bamboo poles. He had to bring his own food.
He was not paid. He sometimes had to stay a week at the site
of his assignment. There was not always shelter to sleep. He
slept in the huts he was building. He could not refuse because
any refusal could lead to a beating and a fine (about 2,000
kyat). The day began about 6 a.m. and ended at sunset. The
order came from the military, who transmitted it through the
village head. The men who had to do forced labour were
subjected to ill treatment, and were regularly beaten. He
himself had been beaten and had even lost a tooth on one
occasion. Taxes increased after his return. Before, they were
about ten to 15 kyat a month. After his return, they were
about 200 kyat a month. Any excuse was sufficient to extract
money from them (sporting, religious or social activities).
They had ten days to find the money to pay the taxes, without

Ethnicity:           Rohingya
Sex:                 Male
Family situation:    Married with two children
Occupation:          Small trader
                     State (village had about 500 families;    
                     there was a NaSaKa camp in the village)

The witness had to leave Myanmar because he was accused of
belonging to the RSO. He left in early 1997 with his family.
Fifty eight families left with him. In 1993, he had to pay
130,000 kyat to the SLORC and the NaSaKa to prevent his family
being killed because he was suspected of belonging to the RSO.
His uncle, who was returning from Saudi Arabia, was murdered
for the same reason. He had to sell his land to pay. He had to
leave when the situation became intolerable. As he came from a
family with a certain amount of property, he did not have to
do forced labour. He could pay substitutes. He had to pay an
average of 400 kyat three or four times a month. He had to pay
substitutes for the first time when he was a child. The order
came from the army which transmitted it through the village
head. All the men in his village were subject to forced
labour, with each family having to provide one member. The
treatment to which they were subjected varied. If, for
example, a group of people had been ordered to provide a
certain quantity of bamboo and did not achieve the specified
quota, the whole group was punished. For the wealthiest, the
fine was mostly a sum of money. The others were sent to
Bangladesh. With regard to taxes, he had to pay money for all
the activities organized by the military (games, pagodas,
religious activities). He had to pay an average of 400 to 500
kyat a month.