COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh- Fleeing death three months ago, the majority of Rohingya Muslims are daunted by the idea of being repatriated back to Burma.
“Here it’s better than Myanmar [Burma]. At least we’re safe here. I don’t want to return. We can protect our lives here,” Rohingya woman named Tahara, whose husband was killed by Burmese forces, told Anadolu Agency.
Since Aug. 25, some 650,000 Rohingya have crossed from Burma’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a military crackdown in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have reportedly killed men, women, and children, looted homes, and torched Rohingya villages.
Tahara’s fear was shared by the large majority of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh refugee camps.
“Our only fault is being Muslim. Our only fault is praying in mosques or going to religious schools. That’s why they’re killing us,” said Zubeyre, whose husband was stabbed to death, adding that she was not planning to go back to Burma.
“We have nothing left there. Our house was burned. Our fields were taken from us. At least I’m safe here and can have some food,” she added.
The repression of the Rohingya has intensified dramatically since 2012 when violence between Burma’s majority Buddhist and Muslim communities swept across the state.
Ever since, the Rohingya Muslims were locked down in their villages and displacement camps, according to activists.
- Bullets & Burns: Photos Reveal Rohingya Suffering
- Eye on Rohingya Muslims’ Plight
- They Threw My Baby Into a Fire: Rohingya Muslim