At rallies following Saturday’s protest, they said they want to go back to their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine State
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas have joined protests at Cox’s Bazar refugee camps demanding safe repatriation, on the first anniversary of the Myanmar military crackdown that forced them to flee to Bangladesh.
At rallies following Saturday’s protest, they said they want to go back to their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
“We must be provided with a safe environment, citizenship and equal rights,” they said.
Rohingya leader Mohammad Idris said: “It has been a year [since the Myanmar crackdown] but our situation has not improved. This protest is to remind the world about our demand.”
Kutupalong Rohingya camp leader Mohammad Abu Taher said they staged the protests peacefully.
Ukhiya police’s Officer-in-Charge Md Abul Khayer said they foiled the Rohingyas’ attempt to take to the streets. The Rohingyas then staged peaceful protest programs inside the camps. No untoward incident was reported during the two-hour program, he said.
“We want our rights back. We want to return home,” he said.
Lalu Majhi from Balukhali camp said the protest was against Myanmar. “It (the protest) is to attract the attention of the world. We are sceptical about getting justice. We want Myanmar to be tried for its atrocities,” he said.
More than 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the ethnic minority. The refugees and rights groups accused Myanmar of killing, rape, arson, loot and torture – charges the military denies.