December 13, 2020

Rohingya widow seeks compensation from Myanmar government for death of her husband

Myanmar police officers patrol along the border fence between Myanmar and Bangladesh in October 2016.


A Rohingya woman is seeking $2 million in compensation for the death of her husband who was killed by government soldiers during a 2017 military crackdown in western Myanmar, lawyers said.

Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) and international law firm McDermott Will & Emery said they filed a complaint on Thursday, with Myanmar's human rights commission on behalf of Setara Begum, whose husband Shoket Ullah was killed at Inn Din village in Rakhine state.

Her claim is the first complaint related to the Rohingya known to have been filed through Myanmar's human rights commission, according to LAW, a legal non-profit organisation based in Geneva.

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Representatives of the human rights commission were not available to comment when contacted by Reuters and a government spokesman did not reply to an email requesting comment or answer phone calls.

Begum's husband Shoket Ullah, a 35-year-old fishermen, was among 10 men and boys killed by soldiers and villagers and buried in a shallow grave in September 2017, according to a subsequent Reuters investigation.

Myanmar's army said it sentenced the soldiers responsible for the killings to terms of 10 years with hard labour, but they were released after less than a year.

"My husband was killed and Myanmar has let those soldiers who did that go free," she said in a statement.

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