Myanmar election: “We don’t matter”, disenfranchised Rohingya people cry out | Dailytrust

Myanmar election: “We don’t matter”, disenfranchised Rohingya people cry out

At least hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims, taking refugee in Bangladesh, have been denied the right to vote in Myanmar election.

As Myanmar holds its second democratic election after decades of military rule, on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of mostly Rohingya Muslims will not be voting, Aljazeera reports.

It has led the United Nations to warn that the election may not be free and fair.

One of the disenfranchised Rohingya people, Mohammad Yusuf, said he had voted in almost every Myanmar election from 1974 until 2010.

According to him, that was the last time ethnic Rohingya were allowed to vote in the country he still calls home after fleeing three years ago in the wake of a brutal military offensive.

Yusuf said: “Not being able to vote makes me feel really sad. It feels as though we are dead and we don’t matter.

“These rights are important. We want our children to become engineers and lawyers one day. But I don’t see this happening any time in the future. I don’t have the confidence. I don’t know if we will even be able to vote in 2025.”

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment, our source said.
Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN has said that the elections will be free and fair and that all citizens could take part.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled an army crackdown in 2017 that the UN said had “genocidal intent”, joining other refugees who escaped earlier similar ethnic violence in cramped camps in Bangladesh, one of Asia’s poorest countries.

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