Dhaka, MINA – Rohingya refugees in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh on Tuesday commemorated the third year of genocide against their ethnicity with silent prayers inside tents due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as a lockdown by the host country.
More than 1.2 million Rohingya have lived in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh over the years, Anadolu Agency reported.
Since 2018, the world’s most persecuted people have commemorated August 25 as “Rohingya Genocide Memorial Day” because on the same day in 2017, the Myanmar Army initiated a brutal crackdown on Rohingya civilians, forcing more than 750,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in a few days.
In the aftermath of a spike in coronavirus cases, authorities are imposing more restrictions on overcrowded camps to contain the spread of the virus.
“In honor of the host country’s decision and considering the pandemic, we are commemorating this year’s genocide day through silent prayers to Allah SWT for our martyrs and oppressed people,” said Rohingya community leader Rahmat Karim.
Meanwhile, 10 Rohingya rights organizations, including the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace & Human Rights and Rohingya Women for Justice and Peace, in a joint statement urged the United Nations to recognize Myanmar’s atrocities against the Rohingya as “genocide”.
“We still haven’t got our rights and all Rohingya and other ethnic groups in Myanmar continue to face this threat. Because the United Nations has not officially declared it a genocide,” the statement said.
Referring to the long cycle of persecution faced by the Rohingya, the statement added: “We, the Rohingya people, have been under threat of hidden genocide through the systematic plans and structural intentions of the Burmese government and Burmese extremist politicians since 1960 after General U Ne Win seized power to rule the country. ”
The statement accuses the Burmese government’s “jointly armed brutal groups” of carrying out mass killings, burning houses including villages and seminaries, throwing children into fires, burning people alive in homes by locking doors, massacring men. and women, robbing property, raping girls and underage women and arresting people without any reason.
The Rohingya Diaspora also urged world actors including the United Nations, European Union and other influential organizations to ensure justice for the Rohingya.
“Please stand beside the innocent Rohingya, and hopefully we can return to our homes with the same rights we have denied,” the statement added.
On August 25, 2019, thousands of Rohingya held a peaceful demonstration at the largest Kutupalang camp in Cox’s Bazar to mark “Genocide Day” and pray for their martyrs.
Following the meeting, the Bangladeshi government imposed an embargo on every gathering in one of Cox’s Bazar 34 refugee camps to avoid any unwanted incidents.
The Most Persecuted People
The Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced growing fear of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of people persecuted in Bangladesh to exceed 1, 2 million.
Since August 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report from the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also burned while more than 114,000 others were beaten, said an OIDA report entitled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: An Untold Experience.”
As many as 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by the Myanmar army and police and more than 115,000 of their homes were burned, while 113,000 others were damaged. (T/R7/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)