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Rohingya Refugees Abused by Bangladesh Officials over Hunger Strike

A Jazeera reports that photographs of Rohingya men wounded after having been beaten Bangladesh officials were provided to it by activists who did not want to be named as they feared retribution. The Rohingya refugees were reportedly banished to an island off Bangladesh’s coast. They were beaten for holding a hunger strike for better living conditions and to be reunited with their families in camps on the mainland. Its alleged that even women and children were not spared the beatings following last months four-day hunger strike.

According to Al Jazeerah, one Rohingya who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We are not given enough food to eat, we don’t have clothes to wear, we don’t have phones. We have nothing.”

Bangladesh last year constructed facilities for 100,000 people on Bhashan Char island, in the Bay of Bengal, citing congestion at the camps on the mainland. The camps are home to almost one million Rohingya, most of whom had fled a ‘genocidal’, to quote the United Nations, military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.

One man said, “Their violence was worse than the Burmese [Myanmar] military, even they never beat us this badly.” Kutupalong is one of the largest Rohingya camps located in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

Another said, “Some of us are sleeping on the concrete floor and there are no covers for sleeping. We are given little food and the water for bathing is making our skin itch and causing eczema.” He said officials had forced them to eat.

There are currently just over 300 refugees on Bashan Char. They say there is no school or mosque on the island and that they’re being kept in rooms like prisoners for more than five months now. There are also no NGOs or UN refugee agency personnel on the island.

According to A Jazeerah, 40 Rohingya “leaders” visiting Bangladesh last month, were sent to Bhashan Char to assess the facilities. Journalist Shafiur Rahman, spoke to members of the group, of which one person told him “It is better to go to Myanmar than this island”.

Umm Muhammed Umar



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