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Home / World / "Everyone talks about them, but who talks to them?": Documenting Rohingya's stories

"Everyone talks about them, but who talks to them?": Documenting Rohingya's stories



Dispassionate and with a factual delivery that does not accord with their testimony, they tell what they say are the horrors that have led to their present situation.

One man, Mawaha Nurul Kamal, keeps a list of people from his village who he says have been killed by the Burmese military and how they died. It's a thick sheaf of pages. As a village imam, he says it's his responsibility to keep the record.

Another, Ammad Hossan, says he witnesses the murder of one and two-month-old infants.

Myanmar's military has repeatedly denied that it has deliberately attacked unarmed Rohingya – despite a high-ranking UN official who says the crisis has the "hallmarks" of genocide. Instead, the authorities insist that they attack only militant Rohingya, mostly from the insurgent group of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which has launched deadly attacks on police posts.

"There is no evidence that Burmese soldiers committed human rights violations in their responses to the 201

7 ARSA terrorist attacks," said Burmese government spokesman Zaw Htay, CNN in early August.

"We have recently formed a new independent commission to investigate alleged human rights violations in the Rakhine state, including rape, and we will treat each case in accordance with the rule of law."

  Morizan claims the Burmese military would harass their community with constant demand for money. If one of their children wanted to marry, the soldiers demanded heavy fines, she says.

"Who talks to them?"

For Karen Jungblut, director of Global Initiatives of the Shoah Foundation, who has conducted several of the Rohingya interviews, it is important that Rohingya be given the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words.

"Everyone talks about them, but who talks to them, how do we make sure they're part of the conversation?" She says.

Around 100 interviews have been conducted so far, part of an escalating USC Shoah Foundation initiative.

The project has already recorded verbal reports by Holocaust survivors and testimonies of the 1994 Genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi, the Nanjing massacre of 1937, the genocide of the Armenians and the genocide in Guatemala – an annual anniversary of this – the most recent and most recent one of the biggest flights of humanity before the persecution.

Among the stories of murder and rape are vignettes of humiliation that many Rohingya say they had to endure. [196592002] A man holds up registration photos that he says were taken by the military – they rounded us up and put signs like cattle around our necks, he says. The families themselves were forced to pay a fee for the photo and pay a fine if new or missing people arrived. A fine of 15,000 kyat (about $ 10) was levied if there was a death in the family, he says.

Jamela Khatoun, a 10-year-old mother, claims that her children have been denied education because of their ethnicity and religion. Nevertheless, she says that she longs to return to the place where the Rohingya is her rightful home.

"We would be happy if we could live as citizens in Myanmar."

Personal Insight

The fact that refugees can tell their stories in their own words is of the utmost importance, argues foundation director Stephen Smith.

"Testimonies provide personal insights that are unmentionable from documents or new reports, and allow individuals to explain what happened … people have been deprived of the right to their personal independence," he says.

The importance of audiovisual credentials is also essential to understanding the often subtle, insidious nature of genocide, which is often treated only in the media from "its most vicious climax," he says.

"Genocide and crimes against humanity often only appear in public when it becomes deadly, but the initial impact is seldom lethal Genocide is a lengthy process that leads to mass murder."

"When he is in masses Testimonials provide a common voice and enough historical data to assist other sources in finding what has happened.

Records of the Past

Oral testimonies are of particular importance to the Rohingya – With all official communications in the Rakhine state historically recorded exclusively in Myanmar's Burmese official language, there is no standardized writing of the 200 Years old dialect spoken by the Rohingya.

"Education and literacy rates are very low in Rohingya communities," says Jungblut. It is an oral / verbal language. So oral history and verbal communication is extremely important. "

Conducting the interviews is a challenge, she admits, and when you hear suffering for hours," it's a difficult place. You go and you want to scream How can we be complacent about it?

But they are potentially valuable markers – a way for the Witnesses to finally tell the story of repressing their community in their own language.

Their details, Smith says, could be helpful to scientists and investigators Provide source material to determine the nature and specificity of alleged misconduct.

"When killing ceases, the genocide is not over. The traumatic effects of the genocide continue in the lives of the survivors. "


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