27 Jun 2014

Rohingyas Face Terrifying Persecution, And You May Have Never Heard About It

In the past two years, more than 100,000 Muslims in Myanmar have left their homes in fear of rancorous mobs and angry assailants. Some have been forced into isolated makeshift camps, while others have made the dangerous trek across the border to Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh in search of safety and a source of income. Hundreds have been killed and many more detained.


These Muslims are Rohingyas, members of an ethnic group that the United Nations considers one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. There are about 1.3 million Rohingyas in Myanmar, most of whom live in the country’s Rakhine State, also known under its colonial name Arakan. The group is named after the language it speaks.

Since the spring of 2012, Buddhist extremists have renewed a push to drive the Muslim group out of Myanmar, using ruthless tactics and brutal violence. Tomás Ojea Quintana, a former United Nations' special rapporteur on human rights for Myanmar, said recently that the systematic violence against the Royhingya may "amount to crimes against humanity."


Myanmar’s rulers have gained international praise in recent years for democratizing the country and releasing hundreds of political prisoners after five decades of authoritarian rule. While the elected government of President Thein Sein has denounced the violence against the Rohingya and promised to take action against those seeking conflict, he has also said they are not citizens of Myanmar and should be placed in U.N. refugee camps or move to countries that are willing to accept them.

Much more at The World Post