A court in Arakan State has sentenced a man to death for his involvement in an attack on the Kotankauk border outpost on 9 October that was part of a coordinated assault in the state’s north, the first verdict made public in connection with a manhunt for the attacks’ perpetrators that has seen hundreds of suspects detained.
The Sittwe District Court found the defendant guilty of murder under section 302 of the penal code, according to state media. A total of nine border police officers were killed in the 9 October attacks on three border police posts in northern Arakan State’s Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships.
The convicted was identified by state media as Uruma, also known as Mammud Nu and Ular.
State media said he was one of about 20 men to storm the Kotankauk outpost, with the attack killing one border police officer and injuring two others.
Hundreds of suspected militants have been rounded up by security forces since 9 October. According to the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, more than 450 people are being held in Buthidaung Prison alone for suspected involvement in the assault, which the government says was perpetrated by Rohingya Muslim insurgents.
The rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, spoke with some of the detainees on a visit to the prison last month and said many “did not seem informed of the charges, if any, against them apart from being aware that they could be suspected of being associated with the attackers against the border guard posts on 9 October.”
Although the death penalty remains on the books in Burma, it has been some years since an execution was carried out; according to the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the last known execution took place in 1988.