Hundreds of Rohingya Prisoners at Saudi Hunger Strike

Rohingya Muslims (Photo: AA)

Jeddah, MINA – Hundreds of Rohingya prisoners in detention centers of Saudi Arabia have gone on a hunger strike for the third times in recent months, activists told Al Jazeera.

Ro Nay San Lwin, campaign coordinator for the Rohingya Merdeka Coalition organization said that nearly 650 people, most of them were held in Shumaisi detention center in Jeddah since 2012 because they were invalid, began the strike on Saturday.

She revealed, on Tuesday night, at least seven people had been taken to the hospital. The hunger strike continued in 10 rooms in the detention camp.

A detainee secretly filmed the action and sent to Lwin which was later distributed to Al Jazeera. The recorder shows Rohingya lying on the floor.

“The immigration police harassed them by saying ‘if you go on a hunger strike, we won’t even give you water’,” Lwin said in a telephone interview from Frankfurt, Germany.

Ambia Perveen, deputy chairman of NGO European Rohingya Council (ERC) which has also received videos via WhatsApp since Saturday, said police had now taken blankets, pillows, shirts and other prisoners’ needs.

Most Rohingya entered Saudi in 2012 to seek a better life after violence erupted in Rakhine State west of Myanmar.

Lwin explained that after arriving in Saudi, their fingerprints were registered under different nationalities because they carried fake passports obtained from brokers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. (T/Sj/R04)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)