Days after the expulsion of Rahima Akter Khushi from the Cox’s Bazar International University for being Rohingya, her sister Selina Akhter appeared to be the next victim of local crackdown on Rohingya refugee students as she has been reportedly suspended from Cox’s Bazar Municipality Preparatory High School for the same reason.
The source said that Selina Akhter, daughter of Abdul Aziz (father) and Minara Begum (mother) was studying in standard nine and received her suspension letter on September 11, 2019 sent by the principal Nurul Islam pursuant to Mayor’s order.
In this regard, Mayor of Cox’s Bazar Municipality Mujibur Rahman said there is no concession on Rohingya. He has instructed to find out if there are any more.
Rahima Akhter alias Rahi Khushi was a first year student of LLB (Hons) at Cox’s Bazar International University (CBIU), and the suspension move against Rahima came in the first week of September, 2019.
Khushi and her sister both were born and brought up as stateless refugees in Kutupalong camp, whose parents fled to Bangladesh in 1992 during the mass exodus of Rohingya refugees. She is one of 33,000 registered refugees stuck in the country since 1992.
The desperate situation of long-stuck refugees forced the two sisters to manage to get admission somehow and seek knowledge in the local educational institutions so as to avoid vulnerability that their lost generation is exposed to.
Deploring the move, Dr. Ambia Parveen, the Vice Chairwoman of European Rohingya Council, said “What an another hardest hit to us! Is Bangladesh also punishing us too being Rohingya?”
“As long as I know, Bangladesh had an obligation to provide access to education to all children on its territory regardless of their status, according to the international law. Since Bangladesh holds Rohingya children from education, we had to hide our identity and integrate differently as we had NO or ZERO rights to educate ourselves being Rohingya in Bangladesh.” added Parveen.
She further suggested “I truly believe education is the only tool to prevent radicalization among these traumatized Refugees.”
Deprivation from education has been the strongest genocidal means Myanmar has used ever throughout the decades to destroy the infrastructure of Rohingya ethnic minority.
Parveen expresses her regret saying “Unfortunately our genocide is continuing till today, which has been confirmed by the UN latest report and the harsh reality is that no one and no country is humanitarian enough to stand with Rohingya for a political solution to ongoing Rohingya crisis.”
Denial of access to education is a major problem faced by Rohingya refugee children in every land they took refuge in.
Anis Saif, a Rohingya activist from Malaysia said “To strive for education is not a crime. We plead with Bangladeshi authorities not to snatch our last hope from our kids.”