Since October 9 this year, the Myanmar military has been carrying out unspeakable atrocities on the long persecuted Rohingya minority under the guise of a ‘clearance operation’. Protect the Rohingya calls on you to join our protest at the Myanmar Embassy this coming Friday to take a stand against the genocide of the Rohingya people.

According to the UN the Rohingya in Myanmar are the world’s most persecuted minority. Human rights violations against the Rohingya have been recorded since the late 1970’s and in 1982 the Burmese military junta revoked their citizenship. They are denied their rights to education, land, freedom of movement, employment and to marry without state permission. They are also subjected to both forced labour and forced sterilisation.

The massacres of Rohingya in 2012 was symptomatic of a long and oppressive history of discrimination and left most Rohingya inside Myanmar confined to IDP camps, under the worst possible conditions. The persecution has forced thousands of Rohingya to flee on rickety boats risking their lives on the open seas.

The Myanmar government has blamed the Rohingya for the attacks on 3 border posts on October 9 this year. Despite the lack of any proof there has been an increase in military presence in northern Rakhine State along Myanmar’s frontier with Bangladesh.

The military has locked down the district, with majority Rohingya residents, shutting out aid workers, independent observers and journalists.  400 people have been killed up to now. The military has engaged in extra-judicial killings, the arbitrary arrests and torture of hundreds of civilians and burned down more than 2000 homes. The military has also engaged in air-strikes on Rohingya villages.

More than 30000 people have been displaced and humanitarian operations that had been providing food, cash, and nutrition to more than 150000 vulnerable people have been suspended for the last 40 days. More than 3000 children have not received their regular treatment for severe acute malnutrition leaving them in a dire health situation.

More than 150 rapes and gang-rapes of Rohingya women have been reported since the violence escalated last month with victims including minors.  Rohingya women and children were gunned down while attempting to cross the river marking the border with Bangladesh. Bangladesh has closed its  borders to those fleeing the military atrocities and has engaged in pushback of refugees.

“State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has recently stated that the government is responding to the situation based on the principle of the rule of law. Yet I am unaware of any efforts on the part of the government to look into the allegations of human rights violations. It would appear, on the contrary, that the government has mostly responded with a blanket denial, she said, adding that security forces must not be given carte blanche to step up their operations.” – UN envoy on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee,

As South African’s having lived through a racist and brutal oppressive regime it is our duty to stand up for those still living under apartheid. Burma should NOT be allowed to continue this genocide of Rohingya. We hope you will publicise and join our protest action on 25 November.

Protect the Rohingya is an awareness group which began in July 2012 with the aim of creating awareness on the plight of the Rohingya.

Issued by:  Ms Shabnam Mayet

Twitter: @ProtectRohingya



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