SHAH PORIR DWIP, Bangladesh (AP) – In the latest sign of desperation, some Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in their homeland of Myanmar are now swimming all the way to Bangladesh – even if they haven’t been in the water before.
In just a week, more than three dozen Rohingya boys and young men swam to Bangladesh, many by using yellow plastic cooking oil drums to help them float.
Although Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for decades, the country’s Buddhist majority still sees them as invaders from Bangladesh. The government denies them basic rights, and the United Nations has called them the most persecuted minority in the world. Just since August, after their homes were torched by Buddhist mobs and soldiers, more than 600,000 Rohingya have risked the trip to Bangladesh.