AJDS Statement on the ongoing persecution of Rohingya people

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society stands with Rohingya people and demands an end to crimes against humanity. Recent weeks have seen the wholesale slaughter of Rohingya men, women and children in the streets, villages, and backblocks of the Rhakine state, Myanmar. There have been innumerable reports of rapes, with entire villages burned to the ground. This ethnic cleansing is nothing short of a crime against humanity. The latest crisis is just part of successive waves of violence and the displacement of Rohingya people over recent decades, that has seen hundreds of thousands of people displaced to the borders of Bangladesh. Rohingya people are often called the most persecuted people on earth.
In Australia, being used as a political football on refugee policy has compounded the Rohingya community’s suffering. A significant number of detainees in the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres are stateless Rohingya people. Rohingya people are routinely exploited as farm-labourers, and most do not have work or welfare rights under visa conditions that mean they have less than the Newstart allowance to survive on. In 2015 Australia refused assistance, along with the rest of the world, as 3,000 people drifted in south-east Asian seas looking for safe shore as another wave of violence hit their families at home. Despite their war crimes, Israel continues to maintain extensive security and arms-trade ties with Myanmar. The Australian Jewish Democratic Society supports protests being held this week by the Rohingya community in Australia, and demands that the violence in Myanmar immediately cease and that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stand up for Rohingya people, wherever they may currently be.
Please support these following demonstrations: Melbourne: 7 Sept, 9am, 55 Collins St. Organised by Rohingya community: More details here. 9 Sept, 2pm, State Library Victoria.  Organised by the Islamic Council of Victoria.  More details here. Sydney: 7 Sep, 9am, 9 Castlereagh Street.  Organised by APHEDA. More details here.
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