Today, 25th January marks six months since 25th August of 2017 while the Rohingya people have started to bring endless stories of killing, burning, rape from Northernmost part of Myanmar to the Southernmost part of Bangladesh. Photographer Amirul Rajiv has been witnessed of Rohingya flow in the borderland of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Combined two trips for 22 days in the early September and mid-October, Rajiv has travelled to the border crossing point Ghundhum, Tombru of Bandarban and Anjuman Para, Myanmar-Bangladesh Friendship road of Cox’s Bazar and adjacent camps of Konar Para, Balukhali, Palang khali, Hnila, Kutupalang, Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital and captured their trauma and hardship in camp life.
Recently, Myanmar has agreed to take back Rohingya people and made a deal with Bangladesh government to complete the repatriation process within two years. But Rohingya people don’t feel any trust, don’t see any hope, instead, an overwhelming sense of fear grasp them to be killed, raped again.
According to Myanmar military, on 25th August, a Rohingya insurgent group launched attacks on several security posts that killed more than hundred people. Again, according to the survivors, it was a massacre by military-entire villages burned, possessions looted, women raped, the countless dead included babies and small children. Medecins Sans Frontieres has documented at least 6,700 deaths from this violence.
Since then, thousands of Rohingya people have arrived here each day. In the month of September, this number went up to half of million and that is the highest monthly departure of refugees anywhere in the world since the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
It’s not the first time for the Rohingya facing the refugee issue. They first got the experience of refugee in 1978 through a military crackdown and fled to Bangladesh. Military regime (1962-2011) in Myanmar brought a drastic change in their life regarding identity and rights. In 1982, the military government made the citizenship law which totally excluded them from the approved ethnic groups of Myanmar, from the legal body to live in their homeland. They were legally viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. So, they didn’t have and don’t have yet rights to free movement, higher education, voting or public office; even have to get permission to marry.
The Rohingya people also faced military attacks in 1991-92, 2012, 2015 and the latest happened in 2017. It is reported by media and human rights organization as the most severe and systematically operated “ethnic cleansing” by Myanmar military. So today, almost one million Rohingya people are living in the refugee camps in the southern part of Bangladesh and they don’t have any “my country” in this world.