Rohingyas on hunger strike to fight Saudi deportations to Bangladesh

Kalerkantho Online   

18 January, 2019 16:23 PM

Rohingyas on hunger strike to fight Saudi deportations to Bangladesh

Rohingya detainees in Shumaisi said their phones had been taken away from them to prevent any publicity of their protest to oppose Saudi deportations to Bangladesh/Middle East Eye

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Scores of Rohingya detainees inside a Saudi detention centre have begun a hunger strike to stop the Gulf kingdom from deporting them to Bangladesh.

Inmates of the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah told Middle East Eye they had "no alternative" but to start their hunger strike after scores of Rohingya were deported last month to Bangladesh despite coming from Myanmar.

Photos and videos smuggled out of Shumaisi showed detainees refusing to take their daily food rations, leaving them on the floor for the Saudi immigration officers to collect, according to Middle East Eye report...

Bags of bread and soup could be seen lying on the floor in crates as detainees retreated to their bunk beds in protest at possible deportations to Bangladesh.

Names of Rohingya detainees who spoke to MEE from the Shumaisi detention centre have been changed to protect their identities.

Zahid, a Rohingya detainee in Shumaisi, told MEE that detainees had organised the hunger strike via Whatsapp and other messaging apps.

"When we started the hunger strike, there were three hundred of us, and then slowly more and more people began to join in," he told MEE via voice notes sent from WhatsApp.

"One old man who took part in the hunger strike has already been taken to the hospital," Zahid said.

"We don't know how many more days we can last. They are pressuring us to eat. Please do pray for us."

Zahid added that their phones had been taken away from them after Rohingya who had been put on deportation flights to Bangladesh filmed their forced removal from Saudi Arabia.