In­done­sia probes Ro­hingya women at­tack

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

I ndone­sian po­lice were Wed­nes­day in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that sev­eral Ro­hingya women were sex­u­ally as­saulted by lo­cal men out­side a camp hous­ing mem­bers of the Myan­mar mi­nor­ity who had ar­rived as mi­grants by boat.

The probe came a day af­ter anger at the al­leged at­tack sparked a mass walk­out.

Hun­dreds of Ro­hingya, a Mus­lim group which has long suf­fered per­se­cu­tion in Bud­dhist ma­jor­ity Myan­mar, have been lan­guish­ing in the camp since they came ashore in May.

They ar­rived dur­ing a re­gional mi­grant cri­sis sparked by a crack­down on long-es­tab­lished hu­mantraf­fick­ing routes.

Four Ro­hingya women, aged from 14 to 28, said they were at­tacked by a group of men on Mon- day evening shortly af­ter sneak­ing away from the camp, in Blang Ado, western Aceh province, with three chil­dren and two men, po­lice said.

It was not clear where they were go­ing, but many who leave the camp head for neigh­bor­ing, more af­flu­ent Malaysia, the fa­vored des­ti­na­tion for many of the re­gion’s mi­grants.

Ru­mors of the al­leged at­tack spread around the camp the fol­low­ing day, prompt­ing a mass walk­out by hun­dreds of refugees, many tak­ing their few pos­ses­sions with them, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

They even­tu­ally re­turned but one vol­un­teer at the camp, who wished to re­main anony­mous, told AFP anger mounted again when an am­bu­lance later came to take the women to hos­pi­tal for ex­am­i­na­tion.

“The refugees tried to block the am­bu­lance, and threw stones,” he said.

Two of the women were per­suaded to at­tend the hos­pi­tal, with po­lice await­ing the out­come of the ex­am­i­na­tion be­fore pur­su­ing sus­pects, said Tri­ar­sono Anang, as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner of po­lice in nearby Lhok­se­u­mawe city.

“We are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing and gath­er­ing ev­i­dence,” he told AFP. “So far, we haven’t ques­tioned any­body be­cause we are still await­ing the re­sults of the doc­tor’s ex­am­i­na­tion.”

Aceh, a staunchly Is­lamic province, has gen­er­ally been wel­com­ing of the Mus­lim Ro­hingya.

The re­gional mi­grant cri­sis erupted when a Thai crack­down on the lu­cra­tive smug­gling in­dus­try prompted traf­fick­ers to aban­don their hu­man cargo of Bangladeshi and Ro­hingya mi­grants at sea.

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