NEW YORK - Taker Hussein, aged 17 at the time, was shot in the right hand but managed to escape. His arm would later be amputated just beneath the elbow because of those wounds. Today, he lives with his wife and two children at the sprawling Camp 3, in Bangladesh’s Kutupalong – the world’s largest refugee camp, report the National News.
He is one of more than a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who remain stateless, with no real path to repatriation. Many are desperate to return home but fear for their safety in the country that persecuted and displaced them.
Aisha Kutun, 45, was one of thousands of women who were separated from their families and brutally raped by soldiers. Ms Kutun’s husband and four of their children – aged between 12 and 22 - were killed by the army. “They shot them point-blank.
It was a mindless attack without any provocation,” says Ms Kutun. She was among those chosen and led by soldiers towards the bushes “for questioning”, but they were instead each pinned to the ground and repeatedly raped.
In 2019, a UN fact-finding mission determined the military was using rape and other forms of sexual violence as a weapon of war.To date, not one refugee has returned to Rakhine State through the repatriation mechanism agreed on by Myanmar and Bangladesh in November 2017.
The Rohingya’s demands for citizenship, which they have historically been denied, and requests for security assurances, have gone unheeded by Myanmar's military junta.
Six years on, survivors of attacks and sexual violence give their harrowing testimonies to The National in the hope that sharing their story would help lead to justice.