During the past several years, I have been documenting the plight of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority by capturing their dire everyday life in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the South-East Asia region. Portraying them as human beings deprived of their social, civil and human rights which are so often taken for granted in our society, my intention is to give them a face and increase the awareness of their plight and bring to our attention the too often unnoticed humanitarian crisis and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. The continuous decimation of the Rohingya by the South-East Asia area governments, their mistreatment and continuous discrimination against them are crimes against humanity happening even as we speak.
Recently, tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar, mainly crossing by land into Bangladesh, and those who can manage, turn to the sea to flee towards Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. This recent surge in refugees results from a long-building crisis caused by the discriminatory policies of the Myanmar government in Rakhine state for decades. The plight of the Rohingya is further exacerbated by the reluctant responses of Myanmar’s neighbors to act and their inability and unwillingness to handle the influx of asylum seekers. Successive violent onslaughts have taken place since seventies with systematic mass exodus. Those security operations amount in most cases to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, where rape, abduction, summary killings, torture and unlawful imprisonment are common.
I believe that I will be able to raise the awareness about the plight of the stateless and forgotten Rohingya, a story that remains neglected and under-told next to the major world crisis.