392 Rohingya rescued, 28 dead

A fishing trawler, carrying 392 Rohingya, has been rescued off the coast of Bangladesh. The boat had reportedly been out at sea for the past two months. At least 28 people are believed to have died due to a lack of food and water, with rescued passengers reporting that some bodies had been dropped into the sea. The overcrowded boat had been trying to make the coast of Malaysia but turned back due to increased border presence brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the violent and bloody crackdown by the Myanmar military in 2017, over a million Rohingya refugees have been living in these camps, having been denied citizenship effectively rendering them stateless. Myanmar maintains that the minority Rohingya migrated illegally from Bangladesh, even though their families have lived in Myanmar for generations.

There have been increasing attempts by Rohingya refugees, to make the trip to Malaysia and Thailand, to seek a better life amid the squalid living conditions in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps. The camps are vastly overcrowded, lacking in access to clean drinking water making them a hotspot for the spread of infectious diseases.