Rohingya, the world's most persecuted minority
The Rohingya are often said to be the world's most persecuted minority. They are an ethnic Muslim group in a majority Buddhist country, Myanmar, and make up around one million of the total 50 million population. They hail from the country's northwest and speak a Bengali dialect; almost all live in Rakhine, one of the poorest states, with a population of three million. About 140,000 Rohingya live in ghetto-like camps that they cannot leave without gaining government permission. They are not regarded as one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups, and are denied citizenship under Myanmar's 1982 Citizenship Law, which essentially renders them stateless.
To get citizenship, they need to prove they have lived in Myanmar for a long period of time, but the paperwork is often unavailable or simply denied to them. As a result, their rights to study, work, travel, marry, practice their religion and access health services are heavily restricted. They do not have the right to vote, and even if they are able to jump through all the citizenship hoops, they have to identify as "naturalized" as opposed to Rohingya, and strict limits are placed on them entering certain professions like medicine, law or running for office.
Prior to the 2015 Rohingya refugee crisis, and the military crackdown in 2016 and 2017, the Rohingya population in Myanmar was around 1.1 to 1.3 million. They reside mainly in the northern Rakhine townships, where they make up 80–98% of the population. Many Rohingyas have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, to areas along the border with Thailand, and to the Pakistani city of Karachi. More than 100,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar live in camps for internally displaced persons and are not allowed by authorities to leave.
Myanmar views of Rohingya
Myanmar, also known as Burma, views its Rohingya population as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. In October 2012, in the wake of violent riots, Myanmar's President, Thein Sein, asked the UN to resettle the Rohingya in other countries, saying, "We will take care of our own ethnic nationalities, but Rohingya who came to Burma illegally are not of our ethnic nationalities, and we cannot accept them here." Since 2012, the UNHCR estimates that more than 110,000 people, mostly Rohingya, left on flimsy boats to countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
Jan 22, 2020A Myanmar-appointed panel concluded on Monday (Jan 20) that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against its Rohingya Muslim community but the military was not guilty of genocide, findings swiftly condemned by rights groups. The “Independent Commission Of Enquiry (ICOE)” released the results of its probe just ahead of a ruling on Thursday by the […]
Mar 22, 2019
Mar 21, 2019