They have been called “the most persecuted minority in the world.”
Subjected to rape, killings, and the destruction of their villages, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August.
“The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the chief of the UN’s Human Rights Council, said in September.
The US backed this up on Wednesday, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the situation “ethnic cleansing.”
The Rohingya, who live in Rakhine state in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar, have been in the country since the 8th century. But the government considers them illegal immigrants, not citizens. A recent Amnesty International report even labelled their treatment as apartheid.
While they have faced such persecution for decades, the Rohingya’s situation dramatically worsened in August, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army – a Rohingya insurgent group –attacked a police post and killed more than 10 officers.
Since then, the Myanmar army has destroyed more than 288 Rohingya villages, raped and killed the residents, and sent others fleeing to Bangladesh.
But Myanmar denies the allegations, insisting that it is fighting terrorism and that the Rohingya are burning down their own villages.
The following images and videos show what the Rohingya are going through.
Rohingya people often tell similar stories: Burmese security forces entered and attacked their villages.
They often say that Burmese security forces began shooting Rohingya villagers indiscriminately, beat and execute them, and even rape women.
Some villagers recount family members being burned alive, their babies being thrown in fires, and other horrific stories.
Source: Human Rights Watch
Burmese security forces have reportedly burned some of the Rohingya bodies to hide the evidence.
The above image purportedly shows the burned remains of Rohingya villagers in September.
Source: The Independent
Burmese forces have also been accused of burning down the villages.
This is the typical aftermath.
Despite Myanmar claiming, without evidence, that the Rohingya burn down their own villages, this BBC journalist came across a group of ethnic Rahkine, who are mostly Buddhist, who appeared to have set a Muslim village on fire in September.
One in the group even admitted to burning down the village with the help of Myanmar police.
Those who manage to escape flee to Bangladesh. It’s a perilous journey through jungles, across rivers, and over mountains that can take several days by foot. The video below shows some of the arduous trek.
The Rohingya’s last obstacle is the Naf River between Myanmar and Bangladesh, which can be more than a mile wide in certain parts.
They often make rafts out of plastic containers, like the ones seen below, to cross.
Some, however, swim across out of desperation.
Dozens have drowned crossing the river.
Source: Al Jazeera
Many Rohingya children arrive in Bangladesh alone, having been separated from their parents or after witnessing them get killed. The short video below shows some of those children telling their stories.
Over 800,000 refugees are now in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, which is seen in the video below.
— Oliver Sallet (@OliverSallet) November 20, 2017
There have been multiple reports of brutal conditions in the camp, including dirty drinking water, skin diseases, and children forced to work for paltry pay and even subjected to physical and sexual assault.
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