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Holocaust Museum Highlights Situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has expressed its deep concern about the worsening situation of the Rohingya in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Long considered one of the world’s most persecuted peoples, the Muslim Rohingya have no legal status in Burma and face severe discrimination, abuse, and escalating violence. Last year, violent attacks, fanned by a campaign of virulent anti-Muslim hate speech that continues today, destroyed numerous Rohingya communities and displaced well more than 100,000 people. Today, the Rohingya in Burma are forcibly isolated, cut off from nearly all goods and services, and unable to provide for themselves. According to the United Nations, crimes against humanity have been and continue to be perpetrated against the Rohingya. Their treatment, combined with statements by government, political, and religious figures indicate that the Rohingya are being subjected to ethnic cleansing.

While the Burmese government has signaled its intention to alleviate the plight of the Rohingya, little has been done to address the fundamental causes of their suffering. Burma’s democracy movement has largely been silent about the treatment of the Rohingya.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in Rakhine (also called Arakan) State, which borders Bangladesh and has a Buddhist majority that is ethnically Rakhine.

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