YANGON — A mob killed a Rohingya man in the Rakhine State capital Sittwe on Tuesday, according to Sittwe district police chief Win Naung told The Irrawaddy.
The man was one of seven self-identifying Rohingya Muslims from Dapaing camp for internally displaced people on the outskirts of Sittwe taken by police to witness a trial in Sittwe Township court, according to the major, although details of the trial have not been released.
The group visited Ywar Gyi Mrauk quarter two kilometers from the court in downtown Sittwe during a break in the trial, he said, when they were attacked by a gang of men from the ward. One man was killed on the spot and another Rohingya man from the group was severely injured.
The injured man is receiving treatment at Sittwe General Hospital, said Lt-Col Win Naung, adding that the mob was armed, without specifying with what weapons.
The Myanmar government does not recognize Rakhine State’s Muslim minority Rohingya among the country’s official ethnic groups, and labels them as “Bengali” to suggest they are interlopers from Bangladesh.
Sittwe has restricted areas where Rohingya Muslims are forbidden from shopping at the town market and entering Rakhine quarters, and Rakhine residents are forbidden from visiting Muslim quarters without police permission.
Lt-Col Win Naung said the police were not aware the group of Rohingya had traveled to Ywar Gyi Mrauk quarter, a restricted area for Rohingya Muslims.
Sittwe residents told The Irrawaddy over the phone that the attack took place in the area on Tuesday afternoon.
U Saw Lwin, a Rohingya Muslim from Dapaing camp, said that seven or eight police officers escorted the group to the court and that the rest of the group was yet to arrive back at the camp.
“The government has the responsibility for this incident. It happened because the security was weak. We are not allowed to visit Rakhine wards without guards,” he said.
The original version of this article stated Win Naung’s position as major. He is in fact lieutenant colonel.