Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) is launching a new research report, : Nowhere to Run in Burma: Rohingya trapped between an open-air prison and jail in Burma: on Wednesday 26th August 2020.
Nowhere to Run in Burma is about Rohingya who have been prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to the harshest possible penalties under Burmese law for attempting to exercise their right to freedom of movement. Effectively, the government’s laws, policies and practices trap the Rohingya between the open-air prison of Rakhine State and jail.
This report discusses how Burma’s weaponization of its legal system against an entire ethnic- religious group born and living in the country for generations is a key part of the apparatus of systemic discrimination used to persecute the Rohingya. The Rohingya are routinely and consistently demonised as “illegal Bengalis” by the government, military, ultra-nationalists, and some local media. By using the term “illegal Bengalis” rather than their name Rohingya, these actors deny the Rohingya their right to their identity and stoke fears of the Rohingya as a nefarious outsider group seeking to do harm to the country, when in fact they were born in Burma and have lived there for generations.
BHRN has documented 160 separate cases amounting to the arrests of at least 1,675 Rohingya Muslims during the period October 2016 and March 2020.
Their ‘crime’ is to travel outside of Rakhine State without the required official documents, which are notoriously difficult to obtain.
The report also exposes and analyses the government’s motives for releasing some Rohingya from prison in April 2020 as part of the most recent Presidential amnesty