Over the last year, various initiatives have been taken by individuals and groups within the Anonymous movement to bring attention to, and stop the genocide currently underway in Myanmar. These efforts have been commenced under #OpRohingya, and they are ongoing.
Numerous Myanmar government websites are currently under attack, including the website to the presidential office, which has been taken down at least three times in the last week alone. Also targeted is the Central Bank of Myanmar, a constitutional agency of the Myanmar government.
Those of us within the correspondent-branch of the movement have reported on the situation, and will continue to bring attention to this genocide, which has largely been ignored by the Western world. The United States government is unlikely to take any form of action, and in fact a bill is currently underway that would increase U.S. – Myanmar military cooperation.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been riddled with ethnic strife for decades. Throughout this time, the United Nations and various human rights organizations have consistently reported human rights violations.
The Myanmar government has treated Rohingya Muslims as illegal refugees since World War Two. They have restricted their movement, deprived them of state education, and periodically driven them out of their shelters to slaughter them. There are currently more than one million Rohingya Muslims that have been concentrated to the north-west state of Rakhine, a mainly Buddhist region.
Bangladesh, a majority Muslim country, borders this region of Myanmar. Neither country will grant the Rohingya Muslims citizenship, despite the fact their family-roots in modern-day Rakhine can be traced back to the Eighth Century.
The military operations against the Rohingya Muslims have intensified greatly over the last year, and on August 25th, almost 90,000 were initially forced to flee under fire. That number has now climbed to 270,000. Over the last few weeks, human rights activists have calculated the death toll to be at least 1,000, while other reports have placed it as high as 4,000.
This recent crackdown by the Myanmar military began after Rohingya militants supposedly attacked police posts, according to government officials. Myanmar state counsellor and de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi – who was once viewed as a champion of human rights – claims the reports of genocide are misinformation and “fake news.”
It has been brought to attention that the Myanmar government could avoid any misinformation on developments if they simply allowed the UN or human rights organizations access to troubled areas to assess the situation. The Myanmar government has so far refused.
Suu Kyi insists her government is merely fighting to ensure that terrorism doesn’t spread through Rakhine, even as reports are surfacing that Burma soldiers – with the help of local Buddhists – have been attempting to burn the bodies of Rohingya Muslims to destroy the evidence. Suu Kyi’s global reputation is now tattered, however within Myanmar, where hatred for the Muslim minority abounds, she is being applauded.
Due to the lack of cooperation on the Myanmar government’s behalf, all evidence comes from the testimonies of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh. Their accounts of the situation transpiring places the Myanmar military in a much more brutal light, contradicting the government’s official version of events.
In fact, Cameron Hudson of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide states, “government efforts to deny Rohingya citizenship rights, restrict their freedom of movement and the practice of their faith, and deny their basic human rights have all been identified as leading precursors to a genocide.” Even before this recent crackdown, a Yale study had suggested the same.
Rohingya Muslim refugees who made it to Bangladesh report horrific atrocities at the hands of the Myanmar military, as well as right-wing-extremist Buddhists who view them as interlopers brought by British colonialists. Children are reportedly being beheaded, and villagers are being burned alive.
Video footage purporting to show the victim remains of this recent attack, provides further evidence that Rohingyas are being tortured before death. None of this comes as a surprise in light of the video evidence from previous attacks on the Rohingya Muslims over the years.
Those of us who associate ourselves with the Anonymous movement are committed to doing our part in aiding the Rohingya Muslims, but they need your help as well. Citizens of Western Nations are being urged to write their MP’s, Senators, Congressmen, and appropriate government officials to implore them to take action.
There are various charities focused on the crisis that could use donations, including: One Nation, an organization that has been working on the Bangladesh-Burma border since December of last year. Human Appeal, who needs donations for emergency aid. And UNHCR, who is pushing for emergency shelters and core relief items for those arriving to Bangladesh.
For citizens who wish to take physical action, you can volunteer your time by contacting the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies. We also implore citizens to take to the streets and protest.
Agerholm, Harriet (2017). Burma soldiers ‘burning bodies of Rohingya Muslims’ to conceal evidence. The Independent. Retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/news/burma-soldiers-apos-burning-bodies-084228272.html
AP Correspondent (2017). The Latest: Holocaust Museum ‘horrified’ by Myanmar attacks. Associated Press. Retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-indonesians-protest-myanmar-rohingyas-plight-102553939.html
Asia (2017). Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi says ‘fake news helping terrorists’. BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41170570
Bulman, May (2017). How to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing ‘genocide’ in Burma. The Independent. Retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/news/help-rohingya-muslims-fleeing-apos-182303180.html
Human Rights Watch, 2013. World Report 2012: Burma. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://web.archive.org/web/20130630121229/http:/www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-burma
Iftikhar, Arsalan (2017). Islamophobic Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. The Bridge Initiative. Retrieved from: http://bridge.georgetown.edu/islamophobic-genocide-myanmars-rohingya-muslims/
Kristof, Nicholas (2017). A Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s Shame. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/opinion/100000005417912.mobile.html
Leavenworth, Stuart (2015). Yale study accuses Myanmar of genocide against Muslim minority. McClatchy DC Bureau. Retrieved from: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article41822457.html
Nine.com.au Correspondent (2017). Children beheaded, 700 buildings gutted in Myanmar ‘genocide’. 9News.com.au. Retrieved from: http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/children-beheaded-700-buildings-gutted-in-myanmar-genocide/ar-AArewIe
Pennington, Matthew (2017). As Myanmar Muslims flee crackdown, US is wary of involvement. Associated Press. Retrieved from: http://billingsgazette.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/as-myanmar-muslims-flee-crackdown-us-is-wary-of-involvement/article_1ddbc3f6-de62-54ec-ab0e-7bde018c489b.amp.html
Sabah Tur Travel (2017). Myanmar Massacre New 2017 – World Humanity Killed. Sabah Tur Travel. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Rvn-ZD9K0
Sannum Lauten, Daniel (2017). Global rep in shreds, but Suu Kyi still the star in Myanmar. AFP. Retrieved from: http://www.msn.com/fi-fi/uutiset/ulkomaat/global-rep-in-shreds-but-suu-kyi-still-the-star-in-myanmar/ar-AArsCab
Smith, Nicola (2017). Who are the Rohingya Muslims? The stateless minority fleeing violence in Burma. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/news/rohingya-muslims-stateless-minority-fleeing-111136230.html