Their Strories: Brigadier Ahmad Syauky


Brigadier Ahmad Syauky interviewed by Yayasan Geutanyoe.


Dear friends,

We are very sad to report the loss at sea on Wednesday, 27 April, of our colleague Brigadier Ahmad Syauky, one of the Marine Police officers from Kuala Langsa who was involved in the rescue of refugees and migrants a year ago (on 15 May 2015) in Langsa. On Wednesday Pak Syauky fell into the sea during an operation against illegal fishing boats from Thailand. Search operations are continuing at the time of writing and we pray that he will be found alive and safe.

Pak Syauky's contribution to the rescue, disembarkation and care for almost two thousand Rohingya and Bangladeshi survivors of the Andaman Sea boat crisis has been exemplary. We share with you here a video of an interview we conducted with Pak Syauky on 10 October 2015 after a training on refugee and migrant rights the Geutanyoe Foundation conducted with security officers from Langsa and East Aceh districts. The interview is in Indonesian and the English transcript is below. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


The Geutanyoe Team


Interview Transcript:

"On 15th of May 2015, around 4.00 am, I was the one who received them (the refugees and migrants) at the port of Kuala Langsa. At that time I saw 6 big fishing boats carrying Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh migrants which at that time were estimated to be more than one thousands of them on those boats. I saw some of them had fractures, wounds, some were bleeding, even some of them already had maggots on their wounds. The smell was very bad, their condition was very bad, they were very skinny, many didn’t wear any clothes or footwear."

"First of all, four hours before the boats docked at the port of Kuala Langsa I already reported to my commander so then I could receive them at the port in the next four hours. After that what I did was to look for mineral water, because from what I heard they didn’t have any food to eat and water to drink when they were in the middle of the sea. So when they just arrived I tried to find mineral water as soon as possible so it could be distributed right away to them when they landed, because it was very sad to see how skinny they were at that time."

"Before the boats carrying them were docked, I saw the ambulances from the hospital already lining up there. I also saw from the relevant authorities from the local government, and we from the police and sea police unit were already standing by there."

First, Alhamdulillah, they look much healthier now. Second, now they are starting to be able to speak Bahasa Indonesia, even just a little bit, and also now they are accepting Indonesian food given to them whereas in the beginning they still very much scared to consume it.

My only concern now is I hope that their permitted time to go out during night time should be limited, in my opinion they have to use they time wisely, when its time to rest they should rest, when its time to pray they should pray.

I hope that one day they can reunite again with their family and live their live normally as we do, in our beloved country, Indonesia.

(Translation: The Geutanyoe Foundation)

We are dedicated to cultivating and upholding values of humanity, dignity, peace and sustainability in Aceh and Southeast Asia.