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Almost 50 thousand women are preparing to have their babies far from their native country and in conditions of extreme poverty

The tragedy of Rohingya women to give birth in Bangladesh

Over the next few weeks, hundreds of women from the Rohingya tribe will give birth. In what has been considered an incredible case, nearly 48 thousand women (many of them teenagers) will find themselves in labor in an unprecedented event. However, even more impressive than the figure, is the way in which these women became pregnant.

"A frenzy of sexual violence"

The Rohingya are a minority from Myanmar (formerly Burma), which makes up one of the largest refugee camps in the world. Since the end of 2017, nearly 700 thousand Rohingays have sought asylum on the border with Bangladesh, due to attacks organized by the Myanmar government.

As this country is mostly Buddhist, its leaders see the Muslim feeling of the Rohingya as a threat to the rest of its inhabitants. For this reason, since 2012, racist segregation by the authorities has begun over the Rohingya, according to some experts, with the aim of "ending the ethnic group".

"It is largely due to the stigmatization campaign undertaken by the government, which states that there could be terrorists among them," explains the director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), Penny Green. The military against the Rohingya people, in August of 2017, was one of the most shocking, in relation to the acts of racism presented worldwide.

On the 25th of that month, the army entered the concentration camps delimited for about 120 thousand Rohingya, and from that day, in addition to murdering more than 400 people, there were brutally raped nearly 48 thousand women. Today, they wait to see their children born in a country foreign to theirs.

"There will inevitably be an increase in births due to the frenzy of sexual violence in August and September of last year," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour. However, the leader of the Rohingya community, Abdur Rahim, does not want to leave everything in figures, but reminded the international authorities that "the Myanmar army violated them. These babies are (...) evidence of their crimes. "

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The agony of giving birth

In addition, another problem arises within the same refugee camp, because hundreds of women who have been pregnant have sought a way to abort or have their babies in secret. "Not only is this a woman who has been ... traumatized, there could also be a child who is basically not wanted," said the representative of Doctors Without Borders, Marcella Kraay.

Therefore, experts have started a race to find all pregnant women, before they give birth or decide to abort by means very little safe for their health and the baby that is brewing. However, the shame of recognizing the way in which they became pregnant and the social pressure that the same neighbors have on them, makes it more difficult for women to make the decision to have their babies in much more dignified conditions or, simply, do not kill them.

An ethnic group "without State"

The Buddhist residents of Myanmar do not consider the Rohingya as an ethnic group, but as a community of Bengali immigrants who arrived in the country during the British colonization in the 19th century. Because of this, since the independence of the country in 1948, the Muslim tribe has seen how their rights have been violated by the leaders of their country.

Among the biggest violations are the prohibition to marry Buddhists, for fear that they will end up turning them into Muslims. Even so, if they decide to marry a person of their same religion, they can only do so if the government allows it. Likewise, they are treated as slaves when they have no right over any land or property, and if they want to travel, they can only do so with a special permit from the authorities. In short, they are not taken into account as citizens.

For this reason, it is believed that more than a million Rohingays have left Myanmar since the repression began more than 70 years ago.

Latin American Post | Christopher Ramírez
Translated from "The tragedy of Rohingya women to give birth in Bangladesh"

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