Local prison authorities in Arakan State’s Buthidaung Township say more than 100 “Bengalis” were released this week after serving the duration of their sentences in connection with violence between Buddhists and Muslims that wracked the state in 2012.
Prison staffer Win Kyaw confirmed the release of 124 inmates when asked by The Irrawaddy, calling the former prisoners “Bengalis,” the government’s official term for minority Rohingya Muslims.
Twin bouts of violence in 2012 killed more than 100 people and displaced 140,000, most of them Muslims who continue to live in displacement camps outside the Arakan State capital Sittwe and elsewhere in the state. The first wave of violence in June was sparked by the rape and murder of an Arakanese Buddhist woman by three Muslim men.
Nearly 200 Muslims are believed to have been imprisoned.