Rohingya hold 'silent protest' on anniversary of exodus to Bangladesh
DHAKA (Reuters) – Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh held a “silent protest” on Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of a huge movement into Bangladesh of people seeking safety. More than 1 million Rohingya live in the world’s largest refugee settlement in southern Bangladesh, with little prospect of returning to Myanmar, where they are mostly denied citizenship and other rights. The refugees said that because of the novel coronavirus they would not hold a mass gathering to mark what they call “Remembrance Day”. Authorities say 88 cases of the virus have been found in the camps and six people have died. The Myanmar military crackdown forced 730,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, joining more than 200,000 already there. “We were forcibly driven out from our motherland to the world’s largest refugee camp,” Rohingya groups said in a statement. The United Nations said the crackdown by the Myanmar military was carried out with genocidal intent. The refugees said Rohingya had faced “hidden genocide” in Myanmar for decades and they appealed to the United Nations and other organisations to declare what happened in 2017 genocide. “Please stand with innocent Rohingya, and then hopefully we can return to our home,” they said in the statement. In some rare good news for the refugees, Bangladesh said on Monday it would soon lift a ban on high-speed mobile internet in the camps that authorities imposed last year citing concern that social media would be used to stir panic.