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PRESS RELEASE : Protect the Rohingya.

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Join the movement by wearing BLACK in solidarity on Saturday, 13 June 2020 and remember to share your photos and messages of solidarity with us on twitter @ProtectRohingya & on instagram @protecttherohingya using the Hashtag: #Black4Rohingya

The Rohingya have suffered four decades of systematic persecution in their home country Myanmar. They are denied citizenship, freedom of movement, access to education and health services; they have been subject to land confiscations, arbitrary arrests, forced labour, extortion, torture, rape, mass killings and other forms of collective punishment.

Since 25 August 2017, a million Rohingya were forced to flee genocide over the border to Bangladesh. International human rights organisations have documented the destruction of over 300 villages, mass rapes and gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar military.

The Rohingya in Rakhine State remain in the most dire conditions at the mercy of the security forces which unleashed the atrocities against them in 2017. As refugees in Bangladesh Rohingya face food scarcity, human trafficking concerns, the lack of clean water, no access to jobs, education and medical facilities and the fear of being relocated to Bhasan Char, a previously uninhabited, remote flood prone island.

Since September of 2019 Bangladesh has imposed phone restrictions and a blanket internet ban on all 34 Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar. The Rohingya rely on mobile phone and internet access to communicate the violations of their human rights to the rest of the world. This access provides lifelines to families, access to news and information and is the primary source of education for youth in the camps, who have severely limited access to formal schooling.

The internet shutdown has put the lives of over a million Rohingya at risk, including members of the Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar by hindering humanitarian groups’ from providing emergency health services and rapidly coordinate essential preventive measures during the COVID-19 threat.

Aid workers and community leaders rely on WhatsApp and other internet-based communication and this shutdown prevents effective dissemination of coronavirus information, while impeding aid workers’ ability to conduct “contact tracing” to contain transmission of the virus.

In June of 2016 the UN General Assembly affirmed the right to Internet access. This requires that people be afforded access to the Internet to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights and that states have a responsibility to ensure that Internet access is broadly available and that they do not unreasonably restrict access to the Internet.

You have the power to help right this wrong by signing and sharing this petition to permanently lift the internet ban :

You can also join the movement #Black4Rohingya on 13 June 2020 by wearing black and sharing your photos and messages of solidarity across media platforms. You can also print out our posters and use them in your photos. Campaign by: BlackSheep.Works @blacksheepdotworks

Photographer: Joxe Inazio Kuesta Garmendia @joxeinaziokuesta

#Black4Rohingya is a Protect the Rohingya initiative, initially held on 5 July 2013 and was then moved to 13 June from 2014 onwards in order to commemorate those Rohingya who were massacred in Arakan State in the second week of June 2012.


Twitter: @ProtectRohingya

Instagram: @protecttherohingya


Contact: +2772 1786 102