Bangladesh: Turkish agency distributes meat to Rohingya

By Mutasim Billah

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AA) – A Turkish agency on Sunday distributed meat from animals sacrificed on Eid al-Adha to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Over 5,000 families received meat and food packages at a ceremony held at the Burmapara camp in Cox's Bazar city.

The Turkish Red Crescent Society (Kizilay) is planning to reach out to 70,000 refugees and locals by the end of this week.

Cahit Sami Gun, operation manager of Kizilay in Bangladesh, said: "Being so faraway from home these displaced people from Myanmar are deprived of Eid celebrations.

"That is why we sacrificed animals for one entire camp for the first time in Bangladesh."

He said his staff worked day and night to distribute meat in order to bring a smile on the faces of vulnerable communities.

On Aug. 25, 2017, Myanmar launched a major military crackdown on the Muslim ethnic minority, killing almost 24,000 civilians and forcing 750,000 others to flee to Bangladesh, according to the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

In its recent report, Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience, the OIDA increased the estimated number of murdered Rohingya to 23,962 (±881) from an earlier Doctors Without Borders figure of 9,400.

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by the Myanmar army and police. More than 115,000 Rohingya houses were burned and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In its report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.