Rohingya Refugees on Hunger Strike, Demand Durable Solutions to their Crisis
(RVision TV) — Hundreds of registered Rohingya refugees at Cox’s Bazaar district in Bangladesh are now in the process of a forced repatriation to Myanmar. A few families openly protested for the rightful protection under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and against the forced repatriation until their demands – for the assurance of their rights — are fulfilled.
According to an initial estimation, there are 128,000 registered Rohingya refugees of 18 camps in Cox’s Bazaar area that have been cleared from their camps by the government of Bangladesh for the forced repatriation to Myanmar expected to take place soon. In a protest against the move by the government of Bangladesh, the registered Rohingya refugees have stopped taking rations from the government, UNHCR and other agencies. On the other, the Bangladesh authorities have expelled the refugee children from the school in a retaliatory action against the protest by the refugees.
However, there are still 53 refugee families resisting the government’s move and refusing to move out of their camps. They are refusing to accept any sort of supports from the UNHCR and the authorities. They protest “we will suffer and not receive any help from anyone until our demands are fulfilled.”
They demand “we want democracy in Myanmar. Rohingya is our language. Arakan is our land. We want to go back but only after all our ethnic rights are ensured/guaranteed and the (true) democracy is prevailed.”
Besides, they also plead ‘save us! Save us from the unlawful harassments and arrest of Bangladesh authorities.”
Currently, they are reported to have been on the HUNGER STRIKE and be continuing it until their demands are fulfilled.
Moreover, the Bangladesh police regularly the camps, severely beat up the refugees and loot their belongings. When the refugees raise their voice against the abuses, they are charged under sedition cases. Some people have been jailed in Cox’s Bazaar prison under the same arbitrary sedition charges for 15 to 19 years. No one talks about their miserable plight and fights for their releases from the jail.
The Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have been facing an unending miserable plight since 1992.
Ziaur Rahman is a refugee rights activist in Malaysia originally from Bangladesh refugee camps. The information provided and views expressed in the article are his own. He can reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org