COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in camps in Bangladesh began a protest on Monday, demanding that Bangladesh recognise their ethnicity as Rohingya and that officials and aid agencies stop sharing their family information with Myanmar.
Markets were shut at several of the refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh because of the protest. Rohingya working with non-government groups and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees also boycotted their jobs as part of the strike.
“The term ‘Rohingya’ is very important because we have been persecuted because of our identity,” the protesting refugees said in a statement, adding that while the term was banned in Myanmar, it should not be banned in Bangladesh.
More than 700,000 Muslim Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in mostly Buddhist Myanmar’s Rakhine State last year, according to U.N. agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to Rohingya insurgent attacks on security forces.
To donate and contribute to Rohingya refugees and Rohingya students, please go to www.allmercy.org
Rohingya regard themselves as native to western Myanmar’s Rakhine State but Myanmar authorities and many citizens regard them as illegal immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.
Many are stateless as a 1982 law restricts citizenship for the Rohingya and other minorities not considered members of one of Myanmar’s “national races”.
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