• Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:41 pm

A horror beyond words

  • Published at 05:49 pm October 6th, 2018
Rohingya
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

How can the world just stand by and let these crimes against the Rohingya continue?

There can be no doubt that the Myanmar army has consistently used rape and sexual violence as a weapon against the Rohingya population, as part of their ethnic cleansing operations. 

Researchers from the Centre for the Study of Genocide and Justice have meticulously documented 161 testimonies of the atrocities committed against the Rohingya from victims and eyewitnesses, and the findings are nothing if not shocking.

There are accounts of rape, gang rape, mutilation, torture, and of course, murder, and the stories we know so far may well be a mere fraction of the crimes that have taken place in the Rakhine state.

Recently, Minu Ara, a Rohingya girl not yet 18, told the Dhaka Tribune how she was sexually brutalized by the Myanmar army before she finally found shelter at Kutupalong refugee camp -- she was raped by four army men and then left for dead.

Stories like that of Minu, and ones of those documented in CSGJ’s 94-page report, should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still harbours any doubts about the extent to which sexual violence is being used as a weapon today.

This needs to end.

This year, the world is taking an unprecedented stand against rape and sexual abuse -- anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege have just been awarded the Nobel peace prize for their work towards ending sexual violence as a weapon of war, and the #metoo movement has laid bare the pervasiveness of sexual abuse in every level of society all over the globe. 

How can the world just stand by and let these crimes against the Rohingya continue?