Latest posts by David Smith Jr. (see all)
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After decades of living in Saudi Arabia and adjacent nations, the Saudi government recently motioned to deport several Rohingya migrants to neighboring Bangladesh. Interestingly, this particular group of residents solely inhabited this particular country of Saudi Arabia and holds no ties to Bangladesh. The current circumstance of Rohingya citizenship becomes an issue of humanitarianism and a challenge of global morality. Particularly, the unnecessary deportations involve questions of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religion. This crisis necessitates foreign intervention, especially amongst other controversial issues involving the Saudi Arabian government.
Of course, Rohingya citizens remain outraged and live on in tremendous fear as a result of their uncertain living arrangement. Most of the men currently in custody spent the last few years in a Saudi detention center, anxiously awaiting an imminent federal decision. Fortunately, one Rohingya man documented the entire incident for international observation. An interviewee affirms that “They came to our cells in the middle of the night at 12 pm, telling us to pack our bags and get ready for Bangladesh,” one of the men explained. Another detainee accurately portrays the panicked sentiment shared among the entire group in pleading, “I’ve been here for the last five to six years, now they are sending me to Bangladesh. Please pray for me.” Even though this becomes a heart-wrenching story, Saudi Arabian laws tie the hands of potential aids as, “According to Saudi law, since they are registered as a different nationality, we can’t do anything in terms of legal help.”
Certainly, the current repatriation motions of the Saudi government might still appear legitimate. However, the regime obviously targets the Rohingya population for predisposed reasons. The census refuses to recognize the Rohingya as a lawful ethnic group. Instead, the government registered them as several different identities. By Saudi legislation, the Rohingya encompass Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Nepalese nationalities, according to Nay San Lwin, an activist acting on behalf of the Rohingya people. Even further, repatriation inaccurately defines the deportation of Rohingya citizens, for that implies the group is returned to their country of origin.
In reality, the Rohingya originally migrated from neighboring Myanmar. Being an Arab, Muslim subset of people, the Rohingya faced discrimination and persecution in a predominantly Buddhist country, which involved violence, rape, and multiple deaths. After years of this horrifying experience, scores of these people fled to surrounding nations. Unfortunately, the Rohingya faced imprisonment regardless, both at home in Myanmar and in newfound homelands like Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of thousands remain in these camps. The Rohingya face harsh, inhumane conditions: malnutrition, lack of healthcare, and the absence of other basic resources. Obviously, the present condition of the detainees necessitates immediate action on the basis of maintaining fundamental human rights and to counterattack unfair discrimination.
Now, the existing condition in Saudi Arabia receives heightened global attention, though the response is still not substantial enough. The United States implores Myanmar and Saudi Arabia to “respect the rule of law, stop the violence and end the displacement of civilians from all communities.” Bangladesh appropriately plans to support the new migration of Rohingya peoples, by constructing new infrastructure and stockpiling necessary resources. The U.K. pledges to aid both the Bangladesh government and Rohingya migrants during this time. However, other influential administrations still fall short. For example, China requests that others “should support the efforts of Myanmar in safeguarding the stability of its national development.” Also, the UN repudiates sanctions on Myanmar and Saudi Arabia. Yet, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia hold no legal causation for the deportation of this minority community, nor do they have any need for keeping these peaceful people in such harsh conditions. Among the other inhumane actions contemporaneously made by the Saudi government, many activists call for aggressive sanctions against the regime. Perhaps, an economic opposition towards Saudi Arabia and Myanmar for their unjust actions might be the only effective way of combatting it. Moving forward, repeatedly placing this issue at the forefront of global leaders attention remains absolutely essential, for the good of the Rohingya people and to establish a precedent for actions against anti-humanitarianism.