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Myanmar police detain 41 Rohingya fleeing to Malaysia

Detainees, most of them women, were stranded off coast of country’s Ayeyarwady Region

Kyaw Ye Lynn   | 22.03.2021
Myanmar police detain 41 Rohingya fleeing to Malaysia

YANGON, Myanmar

Myanmar police on Monday said they detained 41 Rohingya, most of them women, for trying to flee the country’s western Rakhine state with a hope to reach Malaysia.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a police officer said the Rohingya were stranded off the coast of Ayeyarwady Region after the engine of their motorboat broke down.

A wooden boat drifted at sea for days before arriving at Shwe Thaung Yan beach, a resort area in the Ayeyarwady Region, said Phoe Zaw, a police officer at the Shwe Thaung Yan police station.

The police officer said among the detainees are 32 women and three children.

They are kept in a local school.

“It is difficult to communicate with them because they barely speak Burmese,” he said.

Persecuted people

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down while 113,000 others were vandalized, it added.

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