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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Rohingyas Risk Lives at Sea Amid Rising Crime and Uncertain Future

A huge number of Rohingyas are fleeing Bangladesh to go to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

BANGLADESH: Approximately 730,000 Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982. They are a mostly Muslim minority who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to flee the turmoil created by the military 2017. Others migrated earlier, resulting in up to one million Rohingyas living near the border in a variety of huts made of bamboo and plastic sheets.

Rohingyas have taken to the boats to escape the genocide. A huge number of Rohingyas are fleeing Bangladesh to go to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Increasing crime in the Rohingya camps

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The increase in crimes in the camps has led to tribulations in the form of inadequate educational and work opportunities, making the chances of them returning to the military state of affairs in Myanmar a rare possibility.

According to media reports, crime rates in these camps have risen dramatically in recent years as murders, trade, human trafficking, and narcotics trafficking have become rampant. The highest number of people killed in the last five years is 31 in 2022.

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“A series of murders of Rohingya men, including some leaders, at the camps have sparked fear and concern about militant groups gaining power and local authorities failing to curb increasing violence,” says Dil Mohammed, a Rohingya Community leader at the camp.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has revealed data that shows nearly 348 Rohingya are dead at sea. According to records, in 2022, 180 refugees were killed as a boat carrying them sank, one of the deadliest years since 2014.

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Approximately 3,545 Rohingyas tried to cross the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to the Southeast Asian countries in 2022, as opposed to 700 refugees in 2021, as reported by UNHCR. 

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), responsible for fighting for Rohingya rights and ensuring their goodwill, was seen restoring order to crimes and illegal activities that come out of desperation, including human and drug trafficking. 

Innocent Rohingya refugees from the camps were often arrested because of their affiliations with ARSA. 

The increase in population and these treacherous crimes have put a lot of pressure on Bangladesh, which already suffers from large state populations. Bangladesh has requested that Myanmar take the Rohingyas back. 

Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, said, “For me, ARSA are thugs, hoodlums, hopeless people who now depend on drug peddling and extortion.”

He added, “They don’t have a country or society, and nobody recognises them. That is why they are involved in crimes and lead meaningless lives.”

About 90% of the arrests last year resulted from people indulging in murder, illegal use of weapons, trade in narcotics, robbery, rape, kidnapping, human trafficking, and attacks on the police.

Also Read: Rohingya Exodus To Bangladesh Hits Fifth Year Mark


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