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Datt Cung

Ethnic Chin refugee from Chin State in Burma now living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I was living in Hakha when two people from my home village came and asked me to help them go shopping. The next day I was arrested and told that the two people were members of the CNF (Chin National Front). They interrogated and tortured me for two months and then put me in prison.

I kept on telling them that I didn’t know the two people from my village but they continued to beat me and torture me by dripping water on my head. At first it didn’t hurt but after a while each drop sounded like “doong doong” –I could feel the pain from my head to my feet.

Eventually I was sentenced to nine years in forced labour camp. I served eight years and five months and was released on 17 May 2011 after the UN Secretary General asked the Burmese government to release political prisoners. After my release I still had to report to the police regularly. I was afraid I would be arrested again so I fled.

I decided to come to Malaysia to seek refuge and a better life. The trip cost 700,000 Myanmar kyat (£505). I had to borrow money from my relatives and told them that I would pay them back. I explained that my life was in danger. It took one month to travel from Myanmar [Burma] to Malaysia because we travelled on foot.

Life in Malaysia is very hard for me since I don’t speak the language and haven’t been recognised as a refugee yet so I’m scared to go out. I’m staying with relatives but I still have to pay for accommodation and food. I hope that one day there’ll be freedom of religion and freedom of speech in my country so I’ll be able to go back and live there freely.