More than 100 young Muslims abducted for military service in Buthidaung

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The military council forcibly abducted more than 100 young Muslims from Buthidaung Township in Arakan State for military service, according to villagers.

On 19 and 20 February, the military council forcibly abducted 13 young Muslims from Pazunchaung village, 55 from Tatmachaung village, 33 from Ngakyainghtauk village and at least 10 from Kyaukphyutaung village, the villagers said.

A Muslim village elder who did not want to be named said, “Junta soldiers entered the village and forcibly arrested them. Most of those abducted are youths. They were taken to Battalions-535 and 353. Everybody worries as they have threatened to abduct more people.”

A young Muslim man said that the military council threatened to arrest more Muslims from other villages.

A young Muslim man said: “We know very well about the military council. Instead of being arrested by them, we will join the Arakan Army (AA).

He said that forcibly abducting young people against their will and drafting them into the army is a violation of human rights, and can endanger their lives. The military council must take responsibility for the consequences.

On 9 February, Division Commander Thurein Tun and the district commissioner called a meeting with the administrators from Muslim villages and Mawlawis from Maungdaw Township, at Border Guard Police Battalion-5 in Myothugyi village of Maungdaw. They said that if they cooperated with the Myanmar army, they would be equipped with arms.

Muslims are showing opposition to the military council’s order. Muslims consider that it is possible to force young Muslims to serve in the military.

In addition to this, the military council also compiled the list of the men aged between 18 and 55 from the Kyauk Talone Muslim IDP Camp in Kyaukphyu and forced 150 people to serve in the military.

Sent by Narinjara

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