Since August 2017, over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.[i] While Bangladesh is a densely populated country and major site of ecological crisis, the government has announced plans to build the world’s largest refugee camp there.[ii] The following is a photo essay compiled by two members of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). They arrived in the Chittagong District of Bangladesh in September 2017, during the most recent exodus of Rohingya from Rakhine State.
The observers worked closely with an Islamic charity called the Malaysia Consultative Council of Islamic Organization (MAPIM) and gathered extensive testimonies of murder, rape, and ethnic cleansing from the Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camps, Sardar Hospital in Cox’s Bazaar, and various “zero points” where Rohingya have been crossing into Bangladesh.[iii] Unlike the United Nations Security Council, which has accused the Burmese government of ethnic cleansing, the Islamic Human Rights Commission has formally characterized the persecution of the Rohingya as a genocide.
[i] “Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees must not be relocated to uninhabitable island,” Amnesty International, November 2017.
[ii] Alan Taylor, “The Rohingya in Bangladesh: The Fastest-Growing Refugee Emergency in the World,” The Atlantic, October 2017.
[iii] These accounts will be submitted as evidence to various international bodies including the International Criminal Court (ICC).