Maungdaw, Arakan State: The policies of Burma’s border security force (the Nasaka) has forced Rohingya women and girls into prostitution in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships, said a schoolteacher who declined to be named.
For instance, the Nasaka coerced a woman named Delara Begum, age 28, who hails from Naribill West Village of Maungdaw Township, to become a prostitute. She has two children and also sells locally-made wine after establishing a small shop nearby her home.
Her husband Abdul Manan had to flee from his home two years ago, as the Nasaka personnel gave him many kinds of trouble. The Nasaka targeted him for harassment as they wanted his wife to become a prostitute. At last, her husband felt compelled to flee to another village after abandoning his family members, according to friend of Abdul Manan.
Following the Nasaka’s pressure, the woman became a prostitute for the Nasaka personnel of the Naribill Out-post Camp of Maungdaw Township.
At present, Delara Begum continues to work as a prostitute for the Nasaka so that the personnel can go to her home openly and conveniently for sexual services. She also continues to sell wine at her small shop, said a local youth who asked not to be named.
Nobody dares to protest the illicit situation because she is encouraged by Nasaka personnel to do this job.
“This is a simple attempt to destroy the morale of Rohingya women by alienating them from neighboring villagers and the Islamic culture,” said a local elder who prefers not to be named.
“By seeing this situation, local elders feel disappointment, and also fear that other local women and girls will be coerced into prostitution in the future,” said another local elder.
Besides Delara Begum, other Rohingya women have also been used for prostitution by the Nasaka personnel in other areas in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships. Many married women in Arakan State have lost their husbands because their husbands flee abroad after facing political and religious persecution from the Burmese authorities. Others leave home to seek better lives abroad, said a local businessman who prefers not to be named.
In addition, there are many unmarried Rohingya women because of marriage restrictions. Others are unable to manage marriage expenditures because of poverty. “We fear the Nasaka’s tactics will be successful in the future because nature will favor its policy”, said a concerned religious leader from the locality.
“The husband of Delara Begum is going mad knowing the tactics of the Nasaka wandering here and there, passing days and nights with his wife. But he has no rights or might to take revenge against the Nasaka,” said a close relative of the victim.