The Media Review Network expresses its alarm and concern at the continued genocide of the ethnic Rohingya population in Myanmar (Burma).

Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the Myanmar government has continued the brutal slaughter and extermination  of the Rohingya whom they accuse of being illegal immigrants, in effect rendering them stateless and opening the floodgates of hell upon them.

It seems that as soon as the West and its allies use the word ‘terrorism’, much of the world’s media become deaf and blind to the atrocities committed.

As the death toll from the latest round of murder, rape and torture continues to increase, many ethnic Rohingya are stranded in ‘no man’s land between the Myanmar and Bangladesh border.

Al Jazeera reports that audible gunfire targeting Rohingya civilians can be heard and seen in the border area from the Bangladesh side.

The biggest irony of this despicable tragedy is the silence of Nobel Peace Laureate and Myanmar State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi. Despite pressure on her to condemn and act to prevent the further genocide of the Rohingya, she has chosen to appease her military masters who follow the Buddhists faith and who regard the Rohingya as sub-human and therefore, easily dispensable.

Many Rohingya have decided to escape certain death by attempting to cross the border into Bangladesh and India. They have, however, been met with further persecution and oppression in these countries.

Despite being abandoned by their neighbours and fellow Muslims, civil society organisations in South Africa and around the world have rallied to bring the plight of the Rohingya onto centre stage.

South Africa’s “Protect the Rohingya” movement, led by Advocate Shabnam Mayet, has determinedly since 2012, been at the forefront advocating and providing awareness of their oppression.

However, much more needs to be done.

The Media Review Network calls out media organisations to ensure that the genocide of the Rohingya does not escape their attention. Coverage must remain resolute until the Rohingya are ensured of their safety, afforded their rightful place in Myanmar society and provided with equal rights and opportunities as the rest of their fellow citizens.

We also call upon the United Nations, Amnesty International, the European Union and the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Human Rights Watch to put pressure on the Myanmar Government and particularly Aung San Suu Kyi to respect the human and civil rights of the Rohingya. It seems that the world has not learnt lessons from the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and other human tragedies.

Let us be on the right side of history. Let us protect the Rohingya of Myanmar.

Issued by Dr. Ahmed Haroon Jazbhay

Media Review Network

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Ahmed Jazbhay

Ahmed Jazbhay is a lecturer in Political Science at UNISA, and is also a researcher at Media Review Network.He focuses on the decolonisation of knowledge and post-colonial struggles. Ahmed holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg.