Rohingya refugee crisis: Cry of the oppressed unheard [PHOTOS]
Rohingya people have suffered immensely due to their very identities over the past few years. Not considered as an official ethnic group by the Myanmar government, they have been termed illegal immigrants and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar leaving them homeless.
Nearly 500,000 Rohingya people have fled from Myanmar since August after violence erupted in the western state of Rakhine. Considered to be a Muslim minority in Myanmar, these people have suffered immensely due to their very identities over the past few years. Not considered as an official ethnic group by the Myanmar government, they have been termed illegal immigrants and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar leaving them homeless.
As stated by The Telegraph, as many as 120,000 have tried to flee Myanmar by boat in order to find refuge in the neighboring countries including Malaysia and Indonesia over the past three years.
They have been deprived of fundamental rights such as education, marriage, health services, travel, work and other basic necessities without official permission. Persecution and oppression have been like an everyday affair for the Rohingya.
Termed by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, they have been victims of inhuman atrocities. Their thatched homes have been burned down by the Myanmar military and they have been subjected to rapes, forced labor, land confiscation and discrimination by the overpowering majority. Unable to bear the persecution in Myanmar, these oppressed masses have been fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.
"Rohingya refugees must be allowed to go back to their homes voluntarily and in safety and dignity. The Myanmar government must make every effort to rebuild communities and villages destroyed by fighting, and to end the entrenched discrimination and segregation of the Rohingya which lies at the heart of this crisis," Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International's Director for Global Issues said.
As stated by Amnesty International, the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments have announced that they have established a working group to discuss the repatriation of Rohingya refugees this week. In this gallery, IBTimes Singapore has compiled a series of images of the plight of the Rohingya refugees.