They’ve 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 labeled their treatment as apartheid.
While they’ve 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