Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims flee to India, recount ordeal

August 1, 2012 - 15:47
A number of Rohingya Muslims who have been forced to flee Myanmar and travel to India have recounted their ordeal in their country.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar “do not have citizenship. They do not have access to education or healthcare… If they are considered stateless, they really do not have documents to show here [India], but I think women have to bear the brunt of displacement,” Indian lawyer Sahana Basavapatna told the Press TV correspondent in New Delhi. 
One of the Rohingya refugees, Shakeela Begum, left Myanmar two years ago following the repeated arrest of her husband for forced labor. She has had no information about her son since she came to India, but one of her relatives who recently fled to India has updated her about her son’s situation. 
“They have arrested my son one month ago and since then my grandchildren and daughter-in-law are living alone. They even won’t be able to flee since my son is missing. It seems that all Rohingya women have the same fate,” Begum said. 
Another Rohingya refugee, Muhammad Idrees, also spoke to the Press TV correspondent. 
“I want to tell the people of the world, if I am neither from Myanmar nor Bangladesh, where do I belong then?” Idrees said.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, claiming they are not natives of the country. But Rohingyas say they migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.
Reports say many Rohingya Muslims have been killed since clashes began in the western state of Rakhine, and many others are missing or have become displaced. 
Activists say the UN must immediately provide humanitarian relief to the Rohingya refugees and must tell the Myanmar government to stop the massacres and persecution of Muslims. 
(Source: Press TV)