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Sunday, October 28, 2012

ASIA | Bangladesh-Burma Rohingyas, the most persecuted people in the world

Without state and unknown unprotected despite being considered the world's most persecuted minority. Community Rohingya , whose history dates back to the early seventh century , when Arab Muslim traders settled in the area, are subject to "continuous and systematic discrimination" in the words of the UN, and "atrocities" -according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) - at the hands of Burmese troops. The country dissolved in March 2011 the military junta that had ruled since 1962 and established a civilian government led by former general Thein Sein . Although several governments, including the U.S., have endorsed the progress towards democratization (Washington announced last September its veto suppressing imports, one of the sanctions imposed on him), has enormous' black holes ' . Some 800,000 Rohingya people, including Bengali heritage who settled centuries ago, and those who entered the country in recent decades, living in Burma, mostly in Rakhine State (formerly Arakan), west. However, since 1992 the authorities do not recognize them as citizens and keep coming from Bangladesh , which is also internalized by most citizens. For its part, the government of the impoverished neighbor this community does not accept stateless; already hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees and argues that it can accommodate moreMatthew Smith , a researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the Bangladesh government violates international law by failing to provide assistance to those seeking temporary assistance on its borders. " The conditions of the refugees have never been adequate , not because it was impossible to improve it is a political problem, solvable with proper disposal. " At the same time, Smith says that in Burma the government has not done everything possible to stop the violence but acknowledges that positive steps have been taken. "Some diplomats are saying the right things, but the reality is that the field solutions are not put in place . "


Information and images appear frequently-not confirmed by independent sources given the difficulties faced by journalists working in the area, showing boats laden with Rohingyas trying to cross the maritime border into Bangladesh. This Saturday, HRW published satellite imagery that can be seen in the complete destruction of a neighborhood in the city of Kyaukpyu , where he lived population of this ethnic group. In the snapshots can be counted more than 800 buildings destroyed and houseboats. Furthermore, sources reported that a refugee boat with 120 Muslimswas intercepted by Buddhists, who killed the men and raped the women. " I've never seen so much hatred against anyone in the world, until the Palestinians are better off ... I hate everyone in Burma. They are different physically, are more like the Indians, speak their language and have a different situation, "says Dina Madani , Muslim minorities department of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who accompanied the Secretary General of the institution in a 10-day trip to the area last September. The OIC, second intergovernmental organization behind the UN and among the main objectives is to protect the interests of Muslims, he has sought the approval of the Burmese government to open two offices in the country. In September, after a Buddhist protests eventually did not, but still hopes to win support from the authorities shortly. His appeals for the Rohingya citizenship be recognized are constant.


The systematic exclusion policies imposed by successive governments over the past decades in Burma have led the two mass exodus of refugeesinto Bangladesh : in 1978 and between 1991 and 1992 , fleeing the"ethnic cleansing" , as HRW calls. In addition to the 29,000 registered refugees living crammed into two camps, Bangladesh currently hosts another 200,000 or more that are unregistered , according to research from 'The Arakan Project' published in January by the American NGO funded National Endowment for Democracy ( NED). The main host countries are Malaysia , Thailand ,Indonesia , Bangladesh , India and some countries of the Middle East. With the advent of the new government in March 2011 there were some advances, recognized experts, and parliamentary sessions wererelatively open debate in which representatives of the Muslims were able to submit questions about discriminatory policies. However, the responses did not but strengthen the policies in place, such as the denial of citizenship, restrictions on movement, marriage restrictions, etc., and their execution justified for reasons of national security and the "management of illegal migration" . The result? A new wave of escapes from September 2011 .


"In reality, Rohingya are not Burmese people , not of the same ethnic group. His complexion is dark brown and our skin is smooth, we are also handsome. They are ugly as ogres ", these statements were uttered by a a senior Burmese diplomat based in Hong Kong in February 2009 gives a clue about the situation. Rohingyas must request permission from the Burmese authorities for marriage ... and will not sign more than two children. Sleeping with a woman outside marriage can make sentences them to 10 years in prison.Many women who become pregnant choose to have abortions, illegal in the country, raising the rate of maternal mortality. And many couples who do not get official permission to marry trying to leave Burma. Nor have the right to travel , live confined to their villages and even must ask permission to go to the neighboring village. In February 2001, Sittwe, the capital of the state, was declared a "zone out of reach", the Muslim Quarter of Aung Mingalar is a real ghetto. Border permits are only issued for commercial purposes and sometimes for medical treatment in Bangladesh. But if the authorities detected that have been out longer than allowed are prevented from returning home. Most suffer from chronic malnutrition , which affects their mental and physical development and makes them more vulnerable to disease. Less than 60% of boys and 50% of girls have measures considered "normal".

The spark that fueled the hatred

The latest violence erupted on 28 May, when he was found dead of a Buddhist woman who had allegedly been raped and murdered by three Muslims . Six days later, a crowd of Buddhists stopped a bus in which, they said, the culprits were traveling, killing ten Muslims. Two of the murderers were sentenced to death on Monday, while the third committed suicide in prison, according to Efe. Since then, groups of Buddhists and Muslims clashed in several locations in Rakhine, which left nearly 90 dead and 90,000 displaced , according to residents, and 50 dead and 60,000 displaced, according to the Government. Violence had declined since the declaration of state of emergency on 10 June, but last week left a balance of 67 dead and 95 wounded, according to dpa.


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