Alwaght- Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh have held a silent protest on Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of a crackdown on the Muslim minority by Myanmar that killed thousands of them.
The refugees decided not to hold a mass gathering to mark what they called “Remembrance Day” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Bangladeshi authorities, 88 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the camps and six people have died of the respiratory disease.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State to neighboring Bangladesh — joining more than 200,000 already there — following a military-led crackdown in 2017 that the UN has said was perpetrated with “genocidal intent.”
Thousands were killed, and many others were raped, tortured, or arrested in the crackdown.
“We were forcibly driven out from our motherland to the world’s largest refugee camp,” Rohingya groups said in a statement on Tuesday.
They further said the Rohingya had faced “hidden genocide” in Myanmar for decades and called on the United Nations and other organizations to declare what happened in 2017 a genocide.
“Please stand with innocent Rohingya, and then hopefully we can return to our home,” the refugees said in the statement.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and are considered illegal immigrants despite their ancestral roots dating back centuries.
Last January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Myanmar to do everything in its power to prevent the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.