Rohingyas,the prisons with open sky

For decades the Muslim ethnic group of the Rohingyas is a hostage of the Arakan state in Burma. These stateless people have been  removed of their citizenship in 1982 and live in the terror and persecution since. In June, 2012, three Rohingyas are accused of the rape of a woman Buddhist and causes a wave of violence, killing more than 180 persons. Thousand Rohingyas houses are burnt and destroyed. 800 000 Rohingyas people  become then refuges and are parked by strength in camps without free will.
Within the city of Sittwe, capital of the Rakane State,  7000 Rohingyas stayed in the Muslim district. By juste two streets of the main avenue, I meet several military check point control and barbed wires which allow me to pass and  penetrate into another universe, the Muslim prison district of Aung Migalar


The rapes, the arbitrary arrests were always the daily risk of these people considered by the United Nations as the ethnic group the most persecuted in the world. The Military junta has never hidden its deep xenophobia to Rohingyas where several ethnic cleansings was deployed at many occasions. This law from 1982 obsolete and racist is now contributing and influencing  the mentalities and new generations of the Burmese Buddhists causing a profound racial and religious hatred inciting the nationalist groups to the violence. It doesn’t mean that All the Buddhists in Burma hate Muslim but many persist in thinking now that Rohingyas people are the reason in all their problems.
Although the government explains that  » the purpose is to control the violence, it is only about a temporary separation  » the reality is quite different there.
Rohingyas cannot fight, without weapons or political weight, they are intended to remain in these prisons as refugees without citizenship. Their only hope lies in the international community.

Here is the letter which they passed on to me:

« We, therefore humbly request the United Nations and the International Community to kindly probe into the matter and make an endeavour to recognise our Rohingya community as the national citizen of burma respectfully. 
Our another appeal is to deploy for us United Nations Security forces for our life and property’s protection from United Nations council or otherwise our community will be exterminated day by day by Government extremists and Rakhine saboteurs. Rohingyas are being kept like in home custody by now. There is no free movement of Rohingyas to other townside areas. All of the Rohingyas become refugees.

Yours very sincerely

Abdul Jalil »


©Jonathan Fontaine