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Who are Myanmar’s Rohingya?

The Rohingya are often said to be the world’s most persecuted minority. They are an ethnic Muslim group in the majority Buddhist country and make up around one million of Myanmar’s total 50 million population.

They hail from the country’s northwest and speak a Bengali dialect. Almost all live in Rakhine, one of the poorest states, with a population of three million.

About 140,000 Rohingya in the Rakhine state live in ghetto-like camps that they can’t leave without government permission.

They are not regarded as one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and are denied citizenship under Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Law, which effectively renders them stateless.

To get citizenship, they need to prove they have lived in Myanmar for 60 years, but paperwork is often unavailable or denied to them. As a result, their rights to study, work, travel, marry, practise their religion and access health services are restricted.

They cannot vote and even if they jump through the citizenship test hoops, they have to identify as “naturalised” as opposed to Rohingya, and limits are placed on them entering certain professions like medicine, law or running for office.

Watch the full documentary: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2017/07/rohingya-silent-abuse-170730120336898.html

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