In the history of Rohingya persecution in Myanmar, [for a history on the Rohingya refugees and their current situation, please check – A Report on the Rohingyas by Calcutta Research Group] this is probably the darkest hour. The intensity of violence that has been unleashed From 25 August 2017 is probably greater than the violence in 2012 when thousands had to flee to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries for shelter. In the last few years we have seen many humanitarian organisations and activists, besides international organisations like the United Nations, condemning the violence and state of statelessness of the Rohingyas. International media awareness too followed after the boat tragedies in 2015, when in trying to cross raging high seas in overcrowded rickety flotillas many were killed. However, despite efforts things have not really changed much for the Rohingyas in Mynamar, and from the last week of August, it has only worsened. According to the European Rohingya Council (ERC), in just three days, between August 25-28, nearly 3000 Rohingya Muslims were killed. Anita Schug, a spokesperson for the ERC and a doctor based in Switzerland, said, “The number of massacres carried out by the army against Muslims in Rakhine exceeds the one in 2012 and those in October last year. The situation has never been this bad. In Rakhine, we face a slow genocide,”. She added that, till now, more than 100,000 civilians have been displaced. For details of the report lease go to Nearly 3,000 Rohingya Muslims killed in the last three days.
Restless Beings, another organisation based in London and working for the rights of the Rohingyas refugees notes that, between August 25- 3 September alone, 4000 Rohingyas were indiscriminately killed in the districts of Rauthedaung, Bauthidaung and Maungdaw in Rakhine State, Mynamar. More than 65,000 have crossed over to Bangladesh in deplorable conditions while around 20, 000 are stuck in the no – man’s land. The director of the organisation, Mabrur Ahmed, claiming this is the darkest hour for the Rohingyas, has been instrumental in providing aid and relief, like tents, clothing and food to 1000 refugees in the Myanmar- Bangladesh borders. Besides organising demonstrations in various places he has also called for international condemnation of the genocide. He shares his views through this video- Event organised by organisations like Restless Beings to condemn the violence on Rohingyas.
India has so far not taken any formal stand on the issue and has refrained from signing the Bali declaration on the genocide India refuses to sign global declaration against Myanmar on Rohingyas. Her recent decision to deport the Rohingyas and brand them as merely “illegal immigrants” also is a brake to her decade long history of providing asylum to refugees, despite remaining non signatories to the international refugee conventions Rohingyas to be deported, India doesn’t need lessons on refugees: Kiren Rijiju. The United Nations however has criticised India’s decision to deport the Rohingyas and has clearly stated that non refoulment, or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger is binding upon all states. Also, being a party to several international humanitarian conventions, India has the moral obligation to not deport the Rohingyas living in India – States can’t send back Rohingya refugees facing danger, says UN body.
Many humanitarian organisations in India have strongly condemned the genocide followed by protests.
Following are the images from one such protest that was held at Kolkata, in front of the Embassy of Myanmar, against the renewed violence on the Rohingyas. Various civil society organisations as well as students’ organisations were part of this protest.