Thousands of Rohingya refugees staged angry protests for "justice" Saturday on the first anniversary of a Myanmar military crackdown that sparked a mass exodus to camps in Bangladesh.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Thousands of Rohingya refugees staged angry protests for "justice" Saturday on the first anniversary of a Myanmar military crackdown that sparked a mass exodus to camps in Bangladesh.
Many wept as they recalled the brutal killings and rapes inflicted on the Muslim minority last year as 700,000 fled across the border.
The biggest refugee camp in the world is rigidly controlled by Bangladesh authorities and the peaceful but charged Rohingya marches and rallies seen there were unprecedented.
"We are Rohingya, we want justice," people chanted in the Kutupalong camp, where a giant banner proclaimed: "Never Again: Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day. 25 August, 2018."
In a different part of the camp, thousands of women and children marched behind a huge poster declaring: "365 days of crying. Now I am angry."
Nearly 7,000 Rohingya were killed in the first month, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
Refugees arrived in Bangladesh on foot or in flimsy boats. Many brought horrific stories of sexual violence, torture and villages burned to the ground.
Columns of people marching through the camp on Saturday waved banners and chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great).
Tears flowed as one Imam gave a sermon, saying "Please Allah, return us to our homeland. Let us see our parents' graves. We left them back in Myanmar."
Myanmar authorities have made an agreement with Bangladesh to repatriate refugees but only a handful have gone back.
Rohingya leaders say the exiles will not return home unless their safety is guaranteed.