HRW Urges Myanmar to Release Thousands of Ethnic Rohingya from “Prison” Camps

Photo by VOA

New York, MINA – Human Rights Watch (HRW) advocacy group United States in a statement released on Thursday urged the Government of Myanmar to release thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims from “prison” camps.

“Myanmar must end the” apartheid regime “which has left thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslim families trapped in fenced and guarded camps for eight years after deadly communal clashes hit the Buddhist-majority country,” the group said as quoted by VOA on Friday.

HRW said international attention to the Rohingya has focused mostly on refugee camps located in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh.

Yet according to the United Nations, more than 130,000 ethnic Rhingya have been locked up in fenced and guarded camps in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since 2012.

HRW has interviewed more than 30 ethnic Rohingya who live in camps or have fled, aid workers and advocates written in the report entitled “Endless Open Prisons: Mass Detention of Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State”.

The report said conditions in the camps had worsened and the Myanmar government’s recent efforts to isolate them risk cementing the Rohingya’s status as an underclass separate from other citizens of the country.

“Inside are camps that are effectively places of detention,” Human Rights Watch researcher Shayna Bauchner, who wrote the report, told VOA.

“It is a total violation of all their basic rights,” he said. “For eight years, they have been prevented from returning to their homes,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Myanmar government has denied the identity claims of the Rohingya and instead considers them to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)