Female Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh formed a support group and moved to the ICC urging them to investigate the ongoing genocide against Rohingyas.
Female Rohingya refugees have created a support group called Shanti Mohila (peace women) in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.
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None of these women knew each other before fleeing Myanmar more than a year ago but grief and trauma brought them together leading them to meet frequently in refugee camps.
“Our fathers and brothers shot, our sisters and mothers raped. Little children were cut into pieces and thrown into the fire. They grabbed our children out of our arms,” said a refugee woman who did not wish to be named while speaking to Al-Jazeera.
But they do not wish to be seen as victims. Through telling their stories, they want to raise awareness and hope to achieve justice.
“They killed my husband and my son and raped my daughter in front of me. Why did they humiliate us? Why did they cut my husband and son into pieces?” asks another woman.
The group submitted a formal request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) last May urging an investigation against genocide and persecution of the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
The Rohingyas an ethnic and religious Muslim minority in Myanmar are being persecuted by the majority Buddhists in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
More than 900,000 Rohingya live in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, the vast majority in camps, according to the United Nations.
About 700,000 of them arrived in the four months after deadly attacks by Rohingya insurgents on Myanmar security forces in August 2017 were followed by military operations that the United Nations and human rights groups said, targeted civilians.
ICC is now conducting a preliminary examination which might lead to an official investigation. A legal Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Legal Action Worldwide is representing the women.
The women say that they want the world to know is that they are not victims or refugees but human beings who deserve justice.