Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Nearly two dozen Rohingyas caught fleeing Myanmar

Twenty-two Rohingya Muslims trying to escape one of Myanmar’s camps by boat were arrested after they were forced ashore by their leaking vessel, local police said on Friday.

The Rohingyas’ plight horrified the world two years ago when a vicious military crackdown forced some 740,000 of the stateless minority to flee to Bangladesh, where they still languish in refugee camps.

But hundreds of thousands more remain in Myanmar, confined since an earlier bout of inter-communal violence in 2012 to camps or villages with little freedom of movement.

With limited access to education, livelihoods or healthcare, Amnesty International condemns their conditions as “apartheid”.

Many have tried to escape over the years to Thailand or Malaysia, often paying extortionate fees to human traffickers for places on overcrowded, decrepit boats.

“There were a total of 22 people, nine men and 13 women,” found on Wednesday morning, Ayeyarwaddy police force spokesman Tun Shwe said.

He said they told police they had been travelling for four days from Thetkaypyin camp near Rakhine state capital Sittwe.

“They came ashore because their boat started leaking,” he said, adding that the arrested men and women said they had been trying to reach Yangon to find work.

This is the second group of Rohingya the Ayeyarwaddy police have arrested in recent months.

In September a group of 30 Rohingya, including nine children, were detained as they tried to travel by boat then road from Rakhine State to Yangon.

To the outrage of rights groups, eight teenagers were sent to a detention centre while one five-year-old child was imprisoned with his mother and the rest of the group, all sentenced to two years behind bars.

Tun Shwe said no decision had yet been taken on whether the latest group would be sent back to Rakhine or not, adding that police were still hunting the traffickers involved.

The Rohingya garner little sympathy within Myanmar, where many people buy the official line that the minority are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many trace their roots in Myanmar back generations.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Cambodian general visits Myanmar to enhance national defence cooperation

    Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen is now in Myanmar leading a delegation that aims to improve ties, particularly in national defence, with the fellow Asean member. The timing of Pisen’s four-day visit to the Southeast Asian neighbour is highly symbolic, with

  • Sokha’s treason trial begins

    The treason trial of Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Kem Sokha began at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday with the presentation of a two-minute video clip. The footage, which was the basis of the charge against him, was dismissed by