Here is what Iqrar-ul-Hassan learnt about Rohingya Muslims’ plight in Myanmar
Famous ARY News’ journalist Iqrar-ul-Hassan who recently came back from Myanmar revealed in his Friday show that Muslims are being subjected to the worst treatment in Myanmar and the treatment is not only limited to the troubled Rakhine estate where Rohingya used to live.
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“Muslims can’t get justice, no matter what they go through or injustices they bear, they can’t get justice. They wish our political death and want to persecute us till the only thing we can fight for is our survival,” head of the Rohingya Foundation (whose identity is being kept secret) told ARY News.
The ARY News’ journalist also met a Muslim woman who lost all his family’s property in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state and is now living in a small town with only herself to support her family.
“I and my family had property, we were well-to-do but after all this trouble, we couldn’t buy anything and now here are we are left with only some money,” said the woman.
Iqrar-ul-Hassan who reached Myanmar’s capital Yangon on September 8 tried his best to reach the Rakhine state and first decided to reach Pyay from where he aimed to reach Sittwe.
“Upon reaching Pyay, we decided to first press private transporters to take us to Thandwe, a tourist hotspot, so we can move towards Sittwe without raising alarm but none of them agreed despite requests by the hotel management, we were staying in,” said Iqrar.
The team then reached Pyay bus station but the manager of the station told the team that he cannot sell them tickets to any area located in Rakhine before apprising immigration officers about it who replied in negative.
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But soon, local police force was there at the bus station probably to inquire about Iqar-ul-Hassan.
A Pakistani friend too tried to help the team but none of the drivers contacted were ready to go to Rakhine, the agent said drivers fear they will be killed if they try to enter the state.
The team then opted for a taxi firm but the firm’s office was not at the location mentioned on its website.
“It is here that we knew from these drivers that not only in Rakhine but in the whole Myanmar, Muslims are subjected to the worst form of discrimination,” Iqrar narrated.
A driver narrated that Muslims in Myanmar are persecuted like criminals and physically abused for no reason. They are even identified by officials by using a derogatory term.
It is by using the cover of a couple who was traveling with some merchandise, Iqrar-ul-Hassan reached the place where he could meet a Muslim woman separated by her family, the Rohingya foundation head (interviews above) and a Rohingya boy who saw his whole village being burnt by Myanmar’s military.
The man told Iqrar that his father died in exile, his mother is in a refugee camp in Bangladesh and he doesn’t know anything about two of his disappeared sisters.
“More than 600 villages have been burnt (by the military), I request everyone to save us especially people of Pakistan. If it were Pakistan in place of Bangladesh (where we take refuge) things would have been different,” said the Rohingya boy.
It is pertinent to note here that according to UN, at least 429,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh since the Myanmar military crackdown.
The UN human rights chief has described the systematic attacks against the Rohingya minority by the security forces as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron became the latest to condemn such attacks and termed them “genocide”.
“We must condemn the ethnic purification which is under way and act,” Macron had said.