89.72% of Rohingya refugees who were interviewed say their homes were burned down
File photo of Rohingy refugees holding placards at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, demanding justice and their safe and dignified return to Myanmar from Bangladesh Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
According to a report obtained by the Dhaka Tribune, an estimated 24,000 Rohingyas were murdered in Myanmar prior to the refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.
The report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience,” was published by the Ontario International Development Agency this year.
The study was conducted by a research consortium consisting of academics from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Philippines and Norway. Institutional partners to the study include the ASA Philippines Foundation, Ontario International Development Agency, Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB), Education for Skill Development (ESD), and Film for Peace Foundation (F4P).
The target population of the study were 650,000 Rohingyas who had fled to Bangladesh between August 2017 and January 2018, when interviews for the study were conducted.
The research team identified 33 camp zones where the displaced Rohingyas that had arrived since August 2017 were residing, and 100 households were randomly selected from each of the zones to serve as the sample population. The responses of the sample group to interview questions were then extrapolated to provide an estimate for the total 650,000 Rohingya refugees.
When asked whether they or their family members were the victims of crimes in Myanmar before fleeing to Bangladesh, 18.69% of the respondents said their family members had been murdered. This amounts to an approximate 24,000 Rohingyas having been murdered in Myanmar.
Furthermore, 89.72% of the respondents said their homes had been burned down, amounting to over 115,000 residences having been subjected to arson. Moreover, 89.60% said they were beaten, and 88.36% said they suffered vandalism.
A total 26.86% said their family members had been thrown into fire, amounting to near 34,500 Rohingyas. In addition, 13.82% said they were the victims of rape, resulting in an estimated 17,700 rape incidents.
When asked who the perpetrators of these crimes were, 97.42% said they were the Myanmar Army, 82.46% said they were Myanmar police, and 13.51% said the perpetrators were from other ethnic communities.
Regarding their experience with atrocities in Myanmar, 97.30% of the respondents said they had witnessed a neighbour being injured, 81.68% they saw their neighbour killed, 59.11% said they saw their neighbour raped, 85.47% said they saw their house burn down, and 67.46% said they saw their entire village burn. Furthermore, 0.40% suffered permanent disabilities due to their injuries.
When asked when they would like to return to Myanmar, 79.41% of the respondents said they would like to do so as soon as possible, while 13.47% said they did not know.
First Published in Dhaka Tribune