The Rohingya are an ethnic group in Burma who are a Muslim minority, there are about one million of them. They are stateless as they have been denied citizenship since 1982. They have their own language, Rohingya or Ruainnga. They lived in Rakhine state which is the poorest state in Burma, where they lived in townships.
Before the 2017 crisis, an estimated 1 million Rohingya people were living in Burma. Since then 800,000 Rohinya refugees have fled to Bangladesh, and at least 10,000 have been killed.
Ignored By The World
They have been persecuted by the Bhuddist majority in Burma. The Burmese military carried out a crackdown in 2017, making them flee to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, which is poverty stricken itself. It is estimated that at least 18,000 Rohingya Muslim women and girls were raped, 116,000 Rohingya were beaten, and 36,000 Rohingya were thrown into fires set alight in deliberate acts of arson.
Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh insisted that Bangladesh was already overpopulated so she didn’t want to allow any more Rohingya refugees into the country. Their persecution has been ongoing for many decades as the Rohingya evidently attract xenophobia and racism in Burma, most of the Muslim world has conveniently turned a blind eye.
The Arakan Rohingya National Organisation said: “Rohingyas have been living in Arakan from time immemorial.”
As Britain ruled India from 1824 to 1948, many Bangladeshis and Indians went to Burma hoping to work. Burma was at that time seen as a province of India. However, after India’s independence they viewed migration as ‘illegal’ and denied the Rohingya people citizenship.
Being Caned in Malaysia
The Burmese view the Rohingya as Bengali, and suggest the term ‘Rohingya’, is a recently invented name, created for political reasons, thus seeding violence towards the Rohingya people. Burning entire villages and killing men, women and children. It was an unspeakable crime, the world doesn’t know fully about what occurred in Burma.
Since the 1970’s the persecution has caused hundreds of thousands to flee to Bangladesh, Malaysia and other SouthEast Asian countries. Recently, in Malaysia the Rohingya have been detained in centres which are rife with Covid-19.
Occasionally, because of going there illegally with fake permits, they are severely caned and imprisoned for up to seven months. Human rights groups are urging the Malaysian courts to stop this practice.
In Burma, the Rohingya have been undermined, denied the right to vote, work, learn, practice their religion, marry and have children; what every human should have the right to do. It’s happening in Chechnya too, where atrocities have been happening for hundreds of years, invisible to the world, like Burma.
In 2016 after nine border police were killed, the Burmese blamed an armed Rohingya group, so troops flooded into villages in Rakhine state. All the while committing many extrajudicial atrocities like arson, abuse and rape.
The Rohingya are often called the most persecuted minority in the world and they need our support. Please donate to their cause and raise awareness.