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Rohingya woman set to receive international honor

Razia Sultana has interviewed hundreds of Rohingya women, authored 2 reports

Nayadiganta English Desk

07 March 2019,Thursday, 17:29



Rohingya-born Bangladeshi Razia Sultana who wins the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award of the U.S. State Department

Rohingya-born Bangladeshi Razia Sultana who wins the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award of the U.S. State Department

A Rohingya woman is set to receive an international award for contributions to her community.

Razia Sultana is among 10 extraordinary women from around the world who will get the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the award at the State Department on Thursday, where first lady Melania Trump will deliver special remarks.

"This is a great achievement not only for me but also for my community as through this award we have achieved the acknowledgement of our title Rohingya," Sultana, who is also a Bangladeshi citizen, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

“They [Myanmar government] has already changed our state’s name from Arakan to Rakhine as they want to revoke our existence,” she added.

Condemning the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar authorities, she said: “We want real justice against the whole military force as well as Myanmar government for carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity in Rakhine”.

“We want to go back to our home with safety and with full citizenship rights. We do not want to live in the camp. We have our future, our children have future. You cannot let us live in the camp.”

Sultana was born in 1973 in Maungdaw, Myanmar to ethnic Rohingya parents.

She devoted her career as a lawyer, teacher and activist to advancing human rights for her community.

Since 2016, she has interviewed hundreds of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and published two reports – “Witness to Horror” and “Rape by Command” – documenting systematic sexual violence by Myanmar security forces against the Rohingya.

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.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The UN also 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. (Source: Anadolu Agency)

 

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