Less is known about the condition of Rohingya Muslims, a minority ethnic group in Myanmar facing unimaginable atrocities, until the entire world saw the image of the boy face down in mud.
In September 2016, the world saw the image of a Syrian boy photographed sitting inside an ambulance looking clueless. He became the poster boy for the struggle of Syrian refugees trapped in the city of Aleppo.
Rohingya Muslims Persecution
The image of the dead 16-month-old boy has brought the story of millions of Rohingya Muslims on the global platform. The boy died when his family tried to escape persecution from Myanmar police, which has launched a crackdown against the minority group, CNN reported.
He was identified as Mohammed Shohayet, who attempted to flee their village in Rakhine state in Myanmar. The boy died along with his 3-year-old brother, mother and uncle. Myanmar’s police was running after them while aboard a motorboat, which later sank.
Zafor Alam, the boy’s father, told CNN how the Myanmar government has treated their village, terrorizing people, including children. Alam said he saw how Myanmar’s military burnt her grandparents as well as an entire village.
Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar
“When I see the picture, I feel like I would rather die. In our village, helicopters fired guns at us, and the Myanmar soldiers also opened fire on us. We couldn’t stay in our house. We fled and went into hiding in the jungle,” said Alam.
Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar are considered the most heavily persecuted minorities in the world. This has resulted to Nobel laureates calling on fellow laureates and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to take action on the so-called ethnic cleansing in the country.
As reported by the Independent, they have slammed Suu Kyi’s for not doing enough to address the situation.