By P Prem Kumar
A woman who was held at a human trafficking camp in Thailand has said that some of her fellow Rohingya females were regularly taken from their pens by the guards – sometimes for days.
“We knew from their expressions [what had happened to them],” Nur Khaidha Abdul Shukur told Malaysia’s national news agency.
The 24-year-old – who said she was held at the Padang Besar camp for eight days with her baby last year – told Bernama that every night “two or three young and pretty Rohingya women” were removed.
“Two… became pregnant after the gang rape,” she said, adding that she learnt that they had been forced to stay at the camp for six months.
Sometimes the women would go missing “for two to three days after being taken by the guards,” she added.
“I did not question them when they were returned to their pens, but I know what had happened.”
Abdul Shukur said that although there were 15 Rohingya women in the camp, the guards left those with children alone.
“Maybe the guards did not rape us because we had small children. But, regardless, I prayed everyday so that I would not become their rape victim,” she said.
In early 2014, Abdul Shukur’s husband, Nurul Amin Nobi Hussein, boarded a boat from Maungdaw in Rakhine state in the westernmost part of Myanmar and headed across the Andaman Sea for the town of Ranong on Thailand’s southwest coast.
The 25-year-old told Bernama that – like many of his fellow migrants on board – he was determined start a better life for his family by finding work in Malaysia.
But while his wife waited for word of him back home, Nobi Hussein was detained by the trafficking syndicate at a transit camp near the Malaysia-Thailand border.
The camp was Wang Kelian, where a Malaysian police told Anadolu Agency on Monday that they had finally received written permission from the Thai authorities to enter, after identifying as many as 91 graves.
Despite escaping the camp with his life after 22 days, Nobi Hussein told Bernama that he was also witness to the rapes.
“In the night, several of the guards will go to the pens housing the women and take them to a nearby place,” he said.
“We heard the shrieks and cries of the women because the place they raped them was very close to our pens, but as the incidents were at night, we could not see what was happening.”
Nobi Hussein is now employed at a workshop in the Malaysian city of Alor Setar, and his wife and son have now joined him, having also survived the journey by boat and the trafficking camps.
The memories, however, remain. (Anadolu Ajansi)