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  • hundreds of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are undertaking hazardous journeys by boat to escape overcrowded living conditions in refugee camps.

  • Many pay people smugglers to escape to Malaysia.

  • Some make it many don't.

  • Some even end up in Indonesia after floating for months out in the open sea because no country will allow them entry.

  • At least a million Rohingya live as refugees in Bangladesh.

  • Most escaped a brutal military crackdown in their home Myanmar in 2017, and now their latest attempts at finding a place to call home have also been met with tragedy.

  • They've been promised and escape to a better life.

  • What they got was anything but These images were filmed by one of the traffickers he later abandoned.

  • The ship, a 19 year old survivor pocketed the phone are searing record off the abuse.

  • He too, suffered.

  • Thank you.

  • The rockin sailors came on the lower deck with sticks and fan belts and started beating us indiscriminately.

  • Women went silent instantly, but the man kept resisting.

  • They beat us mercilessly, bruising hands ripping off years breaking hands, the wreaked havoc on us And then, like many, Hassan wanted to escape the camp from Malaysia, where smugglers promised a bright future.

  • Now he is back in his squalid home in a Bangladesh refugee camp stuck with around a million others like him.

  • Most of them had escaped a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017, which U N.

  • Investigators said amounted to genocide.

  • They avoided death.

  • But for many their new life is one of misery.

  • The three Rohingya camps are very overcrowded.

  • Three smugglers are hunting potential victims every day did.

  • It's a multimillion dollar trade and involves people from various sectors, including fishermen who want a slice of the proceeds and even Rohingya refugees themselves.

  • Some want to help families reunite Thesis the husband of Julie Harm Begum.

  • She was told she would take less than a week to meet him in Malaysia.

  • Her failed journey turned into a nightmare.

  • One day, my sick sister got into an argument with a smuggler when she was coming back from the toilet and slapped him in the face thing.

  • Smuggler beat my six sister with a leather belt.

  • She bled to death.

  • Still, stories like these aren't enough to scare off the desperate.

  • Nearly 500 Rohingya Muslims crossed over to Malaysia this year, about 400 others landed in neighboring Indonesia.

  • But many more failed, returning home with horror stories to tell or died at sea before they could.

  • And Phil Robertson is a deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

  • He joins me now from Bangkok.

  • Phil is enough being done to prevent the smuggling often already persecuted people.

  • Well, quite clearly not.

  • In fact, these air syndicates that have been operating for a very long time with the primary aim to send Rohingya to Malaysia.

  • Uh, they have been changing their tactics as needed, depending on the sort of enforcement they see in places like Thailand or Malaysia.

  • But the bottom line is that Rohingya are subjected to horrible conditions, open boats with limited food and water, exposed the elements highly unsanitary and facing beatings and sexual harassment from the men who are supposed to deliver them to a new country.

  • This kind of smuggling is not new, Phil.

  • Why isn't any action being taken?

  • Well, I think you have almost a game of whack a mole where you have various different crackdowns in some places and the traffickers pop up in another place.

  • The reality is that there's a great deal of desperation in the camps.

  • There are almost no opportunities for people there, Uh, and they see the possibility of getting to Malaysia as being the promised land on many families.

  • They're willing to mortgage whatever money and resource they have in the camps to try to get one person to Malaysia who they expect will then be the person who will send back Remittances and support the family, uh, into the future.

  • But Malaysia hardly appears to be the promised land when it comes to the actual practice off.

  • How the government is not accepting many of these people who arrived by boat.

  • In fact, some of them are detained and others spend months out at sea, some of them even ending up in Indonesia.

  • What does that say about the responsibility of nations like Malaysia and Indonesia?

  • Well, Malaysia should be accepting these people.

  • They should be bringing them ashore.

  • They should be treating them as refugees and allowing them to undergo refugee status determination by the U.

  • N.

  • Refugee agency.

  • And actually, before the last year or so, that was what Malaysia generally was doing.

  • The situation changed during the Cove in 19 Pandemic and also with a new government in Malaysia that has, frankly, you xenophobia a zey point of reference in terms of its cove in 19 response Uh, you know, the government of million gassing the Prime Minister, uh, basically did nothing.

  • Aziz Rohingya have been increasingly targeted Malaysia by various different hate speech campaigns.

  • And it's very sad that Malaysia, which used to be one of the champions for the Rohingya, has really fallen back so far.

  • Let's just go back to Bangladesh, where most of these refugees begin there.

  • See what journeys from Is Bangladesh being able to manage nearly a million refugees singlehandedly?

  • Bangladesh needs more support from the international community and it's not getting it.

  • That's a big problem.

  • There is a certain degree of donor fatigue that needs to be recognized.

  • Uh, everybody is appreciative of the fact that Bangladesh received these people that they open the border and allowed them to come across.

  • But now Bangladesh is increasingly taking a very hostile position towards the Rohingya.

  • In some cases, air trying thio involuntarily move people to what is a de facto prison island.

  • Basan char.

  • You know, they're trying to get the attention of the international community to focus pressure on the government in Myanmar, and I think that's a laudable goal.

  • But unfortunately they're using the Rohingya a zey method to try to, uh, get the international community to act.

  • And, you know, treating people badly to try to get more reaction from the international community is not the right way forward.

  • Speaking of passions, are these Flood prone island refugees have already begun to be moved there.

  • Uh, do we have any initial reports as to how they're doing?

  • Well, there's over 1600 of them there now.

  • Many of them were duped into going and told that they might be at the head of a resettlement Q or would have lively hoods.

  • Uh, there are a lot of people were quite unhappy.

  • Uh, you know, there's a real lack of livelihood there.

  • Um, you know, Bangladesh has said that they're going to allow them to fish and farm on that island, but the actual groundwater is too salty for for planting, and, uh, the the fishing.

  • They're not allowing these people to have their own boats because they would leave.

  • So it's ah, it's essentially become a de facto prison island, and that's a that's a major problem.

  • People are unhappy and people have protested and they faced Reprisals for that.

  • Phil Robertson.

  • Thank you very much for joining us on this.

  • For some, though, the journey across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea can end in tragedy.

  • But many are able to survive like the family off knee Marcia.

  • It was earlier this year that name Marcia held a funeral ceremony for his wife and daughter.

  • They left Bangladesh and a rickety boat to join him in Malaysia, where he was working.

  • But then he heard nothing from them.

  • When I worked in Malaysia, I used to save part of my salary.

  • I sent money to my family every month.

  • My wife saved the money to pay for the boat.

  • She arranged the trip by herself and she did it without discussing it with me.

  • He'd given them up for dead.

  • But then a miracle e saw on the news on videos on the Internet that about 100 Ringo landed here on a boat.

  • Someone pointed out my wife and daughter to me in the images.

  • There, there, we gotta do it.

  • I looked at that time.

  • No mas wife, Madu MMA is here in the bottom, left holding her six year old daughter, E.

  • When I saw them, I called my mother and my wife's mother told them they were alive.

  • That was the happiest day of my life.

  • The boat, carrying almost 100 Rohingya refugees from camps in Bangladesh, was told to Indonesia's Sumatra island by locals.

  • The refugees said they spent four horrific months at sea, surviving on rice nuts on rainwater.

  • On that, at least one person died.

  • Oh, from Malaysia, Shall was able to speak with his wife by phone.

  • He quit his construction job and made his way illegally by boat to Indonesia.

  • There he's stuck into the refugee camp and found his family.

  • Di Autumn E was only hoping to be happy and thinking about when I could live together with my husband again.

  • Thank God he came here.

  • I'm happy we're here together now.

  • But despite that stroke of fortune, conditions in the camp are tough.

  • They only have this small space to call their own.

  • Sometimes they buy nuts or small extras from local market sellers to supplement the food they're given.

  • I'm very happy to meet my husband here, but I feel sorry for my daughter when she wants to eat something and we can't give her anything because my husband has no income.

  • The lives of Nima Madu, MMA and their daughter are governed by the rhythms of the camp, but also by economic forces and immigration laws over which they have no control.

  • My but now the living hand in hand one day at the time.

hundreds of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are undertaking hazardous journeys by boat to escape overcrowded living conditions in refugee camps.

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How human traffickers prey on Rohingya refugees | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/26
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