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Rohingya refugees in UK demand end to ‘slaughter’

Rohingya Muslims living in the UK have called on the British government to help stop Myanmar’s ongoing “ethnic cleansing” against the religious minority.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, some of the 300 Rohingyas that are settled in Bradford as part of a UN rescue effort describe the tragedy that their close relatives were going through in their homeland.

Rape and “slaughter” in the Myanmar’s army’s hands were part of the bitter fate awaiting the Rohingyas, they said.

“I have quite sharp images of what those people are going through now. I feel really devastated and guilty because now even though I’m in a country where I have free will I’ve not been able to… give them the help that I’m getting,” said an 18-year-old student who left behind his grandparents.

A woman holds a placard reading ‘stop to the massacre of Rohingya’ as she takes part in a rally in front of The Eiffel Tower in Paris to protest the situation of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, September 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The refugees said since Rohingyas were denied basic rights such as owning mobile phones, it was impossible for them to contact their family members.

Meanwhile, Deen Mohammed Noori, with the Arakan Rohingya Organization in Bradford, said it was time Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi took action and ended the persecution.

Myanmar’s security forces have long been attacking Rohingyas and torching their villages since October 2016, in a bid to push them out of the western state of Rakhine. The attacks have been intensified since August 25, Suu Ky ignoring international demands to call off the operation.

Thousands of Rohingyas have already fled their homeland to take refuge in Bangladesh. Many people have been killed during the perilous boat journeys on the Naf River, which separates the two neighboring countries.

Amnesty International said Thursday that satellite imagery showed Suu Kyi’s government had torched over 80 Rohingya villages as part of a “scorched earth” strategy.

According to the rights group, Myanmar’s armed forces had even notified people in some Rohingya villages that they were going to burn their homes to the ground.

Eyewitnesses told Amnesty that the soldiers first burned the houses and then randomly shot and stabbed people who were trying to flee.

The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss the situation over the next few days, when world leaders gather in New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly.

Suu Kyi, a Noble laureate, has decided to skip the event.

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