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10 November 2012

800,000 Rohingya Muslims remain deprived of citizenship

A Muslim Rohingya woman sits with her children in her temporary shelter at a village in Minpyar in Rakhine state on October 28, 2012.

Some 800,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are deprived of their citizenship rights which have made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion and displacement.

The Myanmar government has so far refused to lift the stateless Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine from the citizenship limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal status.



UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on October 9 called on Myanmar to allow Rohingya Muslims to become citizens. 

Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect and repression in Myanmar since it achieved independence in 1948.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by Buddhist extremists who frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in the troubled region. 

The Myanmar army forces allegedly provided the Buddhists with containers of petrol to set ablaze the houses of Muslim villagers and force them out of their houses. 

Myanmar’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority. 

The government says the only solution to the crisis is to send the one-million-strong community to other countries willing to take them. 

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century. 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued separate statements, calling on Myanmar to take action to protect the Rohingya Muslim population against the extremists. 

The United States and the European Union have come under fire for their silence on the ongoing bloodshed. 

 Source Press TV
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