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Rohingya crisis: 'Bodies were thrown into the sea at night'


Rohingya krizi: 'Gövdeler geceleri teknelerle denize atıldı'




Khadija Begum is a Rohingya refugee fleeing violence and taking refuge in Bangladesh in Myanmar.





And then they paid a large amount of money to traffickers from Bangladesh to Malaysia. Human traffickers would take him to Malaysia by sea, and Khadija was accompanied by dozens of other Rohingya refugees.





He hoped to go to Malaysia and start a new life, but his plan was a nightmare.





He and his refugee friends were stranded on the boat for two months, during which time the body of the deceased would be thrown into the sea.



"Nobody knows how many people were killed. Maybe 50 or more," said Khadija Begum.



Khadija Begum, 50, was among 396 Rohingya Muslims who were rescued by the Bangladesh coast guard teams when a boat transporting to Malaysia after being stranded at sea for two months returned to the shores of Bangladesh.



Khadija Begum predicted deaths based on funerals on the boat. A funeral prayer was performed for the dead on the boat. And the funeral was ruled by Khadija's son, who was with him on this journey.

The traffickers promised to take him to Malaysia, but he never got there.



Khadija Begum had to flee her home to escape violence in Myanmar. Violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has been described by UN investigators as a "clear example of genocide."



Bangladesh hosted millions of Rohingya Muslims like them, and today Bangladesh has become the world's largest Rohingya refugee camp.

Cox's Bazar has about a million Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, and some like Khadija dreamed of going to Malaysia and living a better life.





The bodies were thrown into the sea

But for Khadija, this sweet dream turned into a nightmare.

Khadija recalls that the boat crew, human smugglers, trying to cover deaths on the boat full of passengers during the journey.



"When they threw the bodies into the sea, they would run both engines of the boat so no one could hear the voices of the bodies falling into the water."



He added that most of the body was thrown into the sea at night.

"I can definitely say that at least 14 to 15 women died on the boat."

Khadija worries that the woman who is still with her dies on the boat.

Due to the severe water shortage, the woman disappeared a little at first, and then her behavior became a little strange.



The crew took him to the top of the boat, where he died according to Khadija.



"I'm still afraid of death. He died before our eyes."

He accompanied his four children.



"My son only reported the death of his mother to his eldest daughter, who was only 16 years old."

Orphans

Khadija herself is a four-year-old mother.

Khadija says the woman does not know what happened to her mother of the other three children. They were crying It broke my heart to see them in this situation.

"His body was thrown into the sea immediately."

Khadija became homeless when her husband and son Myanmar were killed in a military operation in Rakhine state in 2017.

His village, Cox's Bazar, was set on fire forcing him to take refuge with his children in Bangladesh.

After marrying her eldest daughter, she now wants to give her other children a better life.



"Our lives are very difficult. I have never seen any future in the refugee camp."

After hearing the Rohingya Muslims who lived a better life by going to Malaysia by sea, they wanted to go there.



Forced to sell jewelry



Khadija managed to earn money by selling his jewelery to go to Malaysia and paid about 7 750 to the smugglers who organized the boat.

He received the phone call he had been waiting for one night in February.

"The person who called me told me to come to Teknaf bus stop." Said.

He kept his intentions secret and quietly wrapped some of his clothes and gold jewels in a small bag.

"I told my friends and neighbors that I left the camp for treatment," he said.

He locked the house with his son and daughter and left in the dark of the night.

Near the bus stop, they found a man who took them to a farmhouse where there are already hundreds of people.

Later, in St. Petersburg, They moved between the island of Marine and the Akib shores in Myanmar by a boat that slowly moved towards Bengal Bay.

"I've been planning for months. I wanted a better life. I was dreaming of a new life in a new country."



Arrival to Malaysia



After a seven-day cruise where the boat sailed on the waves due to bad weather, the passengers finally saw the Malaysian coast.



They hoped to move in small boats so that they could go here by land, but no boat was coming.



There was strict security in the Malaysian sea due to the corona virus. Coast guards are patrolling faster than in the past, so no one can enter their country illegally.

Corona virus outbreak cut Khadija's hopes.


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