By Ninder Kaur
Tabling a House of Commons motion at the beginning of Refugee Week Bradford East’s new MP, Imran Hussain calls on the Government and the international community to do more to prevent the persecution of the Rohingya in South Asia.
The Rohingyan people are being brutally suppressed in Burma. They are subject to violence, murder and displacement.
In their own country they are denied basic citizenship rights and are even forbidden from describing themselves as Rohingyan. This situation has been described as ethnic cleansing and is particularly disappointing coming from a country that is supposed to be moving towards democracy and the rule of law.
This has led the United Nations to describe them as one of the most persecuted people in the world. As a result of this violence, many were forced to flee as refugees across the border into Bangladesh where they live in poorly maintained refugee camps.
The plight of the Rohingya was also brought back into the public eye recently with the discovery of ‘holding camps’ used by people traffickers to keep Rohingya refugees before smuggling them over the border into nearby countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, as well as grave sites at these camps. Once in these countries they are then often exploited by people traffickers and forced into near slavery.
The motion tabled by Mr Hussain and supported by several Labour MPs calls on the House of Commons to recognise the persecution that the Rohingya face and urges the UK Government to work with regional Governments in South Asia to stop the crisis and restore their human rights.
Speaking on the Rohingya refugee crisis and the Motion, Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East said:
Nobody who has seen the pictures or witnessed the predicament of the Rohingyan people can fail to be moved by their situation. I have put down this motion in Westminster not only to raise awareness about this humanitarian crisis, but also to demand of our and other Governments that they take this issue seriously; that they deal with it with the urgency it demands and that basic freedoms and rights be restored to the Rohingyan people.”
“They are a people that have been persecuted for decades without any action being taken by the international community as in Burma the Rohingya possess no rights or protections against abuse and they face regular violence. It must stop and the Rohingya must be granted the rights that as human beings they deserve.
“I will therefore be pressing the Government in Parliament to make sure that they stand up for human rights, that they encourage South Asian countries to accept Rohingya refugees, and that they call on Burma to stop their campaign of persecution against the Rohingya and recognise them as an ethnic group so that we can stop this inexcusable crisis.”