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Thirty-Five Rohingya Fishermen Abducted

Thirty-five Rohingya fishermen were abducted from Burmese waters in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Maungdaw in Arakan State by a big trawler on 13th December.

Amin, (a pseudonym) a fisherman from Aley Than Kyaw village in Maungdaw Township said: “The fishermen along with a motorboat from Aley Than Kyaw village went to the Bay of Bengal to catch fish on that day, at about 6:00 pm."

Another fisherman said that the motorboat had gone elsewhere, leaving a group of fishermen in smaller boats who were abducted by a big trawler at about 11pm.

Seven fishermen on another motorboat nearby fled the scene to avoid being abducted according to one of them.

A victim’s relative from Aley Than Kyaw said: “We are very poor and have no money to pay for their release from traffickers if they end up in Malaysia or Thailand.”

Another relative of the victims said: “It is not sure that they will be taken to Thailand or Malaysia, they may be sold to Thai fishing trawlers.”

Another relative said: “If they fall into the hands of Burmese or Rakhine extremists they will be killed.”

He added that if the traffickers ask for large amounts of money to release the victims their relatives will not be able to pay the money and as a result the victims will be badly tortured in jungle camps in Thailand.