Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Refugee teachers tortured by CIC of Kutupalong Camp

Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazaar (Kaladan) -: Four refugee teachers were severely tortured by the Camp-in-Charge (CIC) of Kutupalong Camp on August 13, while they were going to the Bangla-German Samprity (BGS) Center of Court Bazaar of Cox’s Bazaar district by bus, for Burmese language training, Salim, one of the refugee teachers, said.

Refugee teacher beat by Camp in Charge of Kutupalong refugee camp

On that day, at about 4:00 pm, 21 refugee teachers from Nayapara camp went to the Kutupalong camp by bus to pick up another four refugee teachers, from Kutupalong camp for Burmese language training at Court Bazaar. After arrival at the nearby Kutupalong camp, some of the refugee teachers got down from the bus and went to the toilet, while some other refugee teachers waited for four other refugee teachers’ (colleagues), who would join them from Kutupalong camp, he added.

One of the peons, named Nurul Hoque, Camp-in-Charge (CIC) of Kutupalong camp came to the bus and ordered all the teachers to get into the bus quickly. But, some teachers took time to get into the bus as they had gone to nearby shops to buy betel, cigarettes and other things. So, the peon got angry with them and forcibly pushed some of the teachers into a car, said Mahbu Rahman, another refugee teacher, who was tortured by the CIC.

The refugee teachers asked the peon, “Why did you push us forcibly into the car? And we are human beings; you do not need to push us into the bus, like animals.”

Hearing this, the peon became very angry with them and he called the camp officer to the spot and the officer asked 4 refugee teachers to follow him. So, Kafayet Ullah of School No.2, Amir Hakim from School No.2, Salim from School No.5 and Mahbu Rahman from School No.7, went to the camp along with the officer. All the four refugee teachers were from Nayapara camp, Mahbu Rahman added.

After reaching the camp, Camp-in-Charge ASM Fazala Rabbi, confined them to a room and tortured them brutally. The officer even kicked them severely on their heads and abdomen. Later they were sent to the clinic of the refugee camp for medical treatment.

After medical treatment, three of them were sent to the training center of Court Bazaar, accompanied by four other refugee teachers from Kutupalong, leaving Kafayet Ullah in the camp.

The three refugee teachers were released because they had admitted that they were guilty and had also signed on a white paper, because of fear of further torture. However, Kafayet Ullah refused to sign on a white paper, said Amir Hakim, who was also tortured by the CIC.

Kafayet Ullah was severely tortured and the camp officer has been trying to take a signature from him on a white paper, that he was guilty. But, he consistently refused to sign on a white paper. So, the officer has been threatening him that the officer would send him to jail, if he does not sign on the paper. The victim is in the clinic of the refugee camp under the control of camp police. The victim was severely injured due to the torture meted out by the CIC, said a refugee from Kutupalong camp, who declined to be named.

However, last night, the victim was forced to sign on the white paper that he was guilty regarding the incident. At about 10:00 am, today, he was released and headed back to Nayapara refugee camp, said a relative of the victim.

On August 13, at about 7:00 pm, an UNHCR representative went to the Kutupalong refugee camp, to seek information regarding the event as the refugee teachers had asked them to help regarding the incident, said another refugee from Kutupalong camp.

The BGS Center is under the Research Training and Management International (RTMI), which has been providing help for education in refugee camps. The refugee teachers were going to BGS of Court Bazaar for three days, for Burmese language training.

The refugee teachers will not participate in the training until some action is taken against the perpetrator. At present, the entire group of refugee teachers (24 people) are at the Court Bazaar BGS Center, except Kafayet Ullah, said Salim, a refugee teacher.

The refugees believe that the CIC was very angry with the refugees, since August 8, when the refugees participated in a strike to be held at Cox’s Bazaar against the repatriation of Rohingya people and to mark the anniversary of 88 uprising in Burma. As a result, the authorities imposed tight security in refugee camps, since August 13, and no one is allowed to go out of the camp, said a refugee leader, who declined to be named.

Written by Webmaster: 15 August 2009

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