Bangladesh: Myanmar/Bangladesh Rohingyas – The search for safety

Thousands of Burmese Muslims from the Rhakine State in Myanmar, known as Rohingyas, have fled into southeastern Bangaldesh during the first half of 1997. AI is aware of reports that some of the new arrivals have stated that they have left Myanmar solely because of economic hardship. However, it is concerned that others are in fact people fleeing serious human rights violations in Myanmar, and therefore would be in need of protection. AI has received reliable reports from eye-witnesses who have recently observed forced labour of civilians. Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities including the Arakanese and Mro, were forced to work on roads and bridges by the Burmese security forces in December 1996 and during the first half of 1997.

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