Nearly 300 Rohingya refugees who were stranded at sea for months after being denied port in Southeast Asia were rescued by Indonesian fisherman this week.
The group included 14 children, and two of the refugees were taken to the hospital for medical care. It has been reported that approximately 30 people died during the months they spent at sea.
Since 2017, when a Buddhist nationalist military in Myanmar took power, Rohingya Muslims have been targeted with genocidal intent. This led to an increased number of refugees escaping the genocide in Myanmar, many of whom escaped to refugee camps in Bangladesh.
“It is appalling that the Indonesian authorities are waiting for local fishermen to take the initiative in carrying out these rescues. The government, not private individuals, should have saved these lives,” said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia. “Rohingya refugees are still willing to risk everything in search of safety.”
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