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9 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Raped Rohingya women suffer from trauma

SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS, back from Cox’s Bazar

The Rohingyas who escaped to Bangladesh after being raped and tortured by Myanmarese troops and local Rakhines are suffering from tremendous physical and psychological trauma. Sources in hospitals and NGOs in Teknaf and Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar said the women who were sexually assaulted are traumatised while the children are affected by malnutrition-induced diarrhoea. A report published by the London-based Burmese Rohingya Organization (BROUK) says that 428 Rohingyas died between October 9 and November 20. As many as 192 Rohingya women were raped, 440 men were arrested, 120 people are missing, 160 people were physically assaulted, 1,780 houses and buildings were burnt down, and there are now at least 35,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in the community.
Jahanara (name changed), 18, who was allegedly raped by the troops in her home in front of her family members, is suffering from “violence-related trauma”. When this correspondent visited her at an unregistered Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya, she could say nothing at first. She just looked on helplessly as tears rolled down her cheeks. After five minutes, she could barely say, “The military raped me in front of my family.”
Her mother Nasreen Begum (name changed) cried, “She often wakes up at night and trembles in fear. Sometimes, she just freezes. She does not talk to anyone now. She was admitted to the local MSF Hospital for two days.” Her hospital card mentions “Violence-related trauma” as the ailment.
Afreen (name changed), 20, hailing from Ludai, broke down as she narrated how the troops raped her. She is also suffering from “mental health and violence-related trauma”, says her MSF Hospital medical card. There are several women like them at the Kutopalong camp who are suffering from trauma in the form of depression.
A doctor at a private hospital in Ukhiya told The Independent, “Many patients, who were tortured physically and mentally, are now suffering from trauma. Mostly the women who were violated are suffering from violence-related trauma.” Not only MSF, ACF, and International Organization for Migration (IOM) hospitals, the local upazila health complex and private clinics are also treating the Rohingyas. Saikat Biswas, the national programme officer of IOM, told The Independent, “Numerous patients who are being treated at our hospitals are suffering from fear- and violence-related trauma. Though we cannot separate such patients, many who are coming for help are traumatised.”
Suman Barua, the upazila health officer of Teknaf, said, “Many women are suffering from violence-related trauma. The children who are coming from Myanmar are suffering from diarrhoea due to malnutrition.”
Following an attack on a border outpost of Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) on October 9, the country’s military started a crackdown on the Rohingyas. In fear, they started fleeing to Bangladesh. Even now, they are entering Bangladesh almost every day.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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