Fleeing Rohingya women describe Myanmar soldier’s brutal rape campaign

April 21, 2017 | By | Reply More

Western Myanmar’s Rakhine state when the military came and the gunfire started. “All the men from the village started running away, and my son ran with them,” Zubaida, 25, says. He didn’t get far: Myanmar soldiers shot him dead — in the back.

rohingya womenWith her 8-year-old son’s head resting in her lap, Zubaida was sitting at home with some other women from her village in that evening, the soldiers came back.

“They didn’t say anything,” she says. “They just came with their guns into my house.”

They raped her for almost an hour that time, Zubaida says. Two days later, the military returned and rounded up all the villagers. She says they separated the men from the women, beat the men and raped the women.

“Some tried to resist and got stabbed,” she says. “That’s why the rest of the women didn’t hesitate, they didn’t want to die.”

Zubaida was one of those picked.

Her distraught father pleaded with the soldiers: “Why are you doing this?”

“We are not doing as much to you as we have been ordered to do in Oula Para,” they replied, referring to a nearby village.

Both Zubaida’s village, Naiyongsong, and Oula Para are in far west Rakhine near the border with Bangladesh.

The villagers in this story have chosen to use pseudonyms to protect family members in Myanmar from possible retribution.

Zubaida and her neighbors are Rohingya — a group the U.N. has described as one of the world’s most persecuted people. The Muslim minority Rohingya have lived in mainly Buddhist Myanmar for centuries.

Even so, Myanmar’s government doesn’t consider the Rohingya to be citizens; it says they are immigrants from Bangladesh who are living in Myanmar illegally.

About 1 million Rohingya live in Rakhine state, and they are almost entirely disenfranchised and need permission, for instance, to travel outside their own villages or to marry. Many are restricted to living in internment camps, segregated from the local Buddhist population.

Press journalist for HROmedia – Saurav Nag reports.

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Category: International

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