IHH and its partner organization PKPU in Indonesia started giving away hot meals and medications to the refugees from Arakan.
Fishermen from Aceh rescued around thousand Rohingya Muslims, who were left adrift at sea by the human smugglers last week. Rohingyas are offered shelter in a camp set up by the local government in Aceh. It is reported that the camps currently accommodate around 1,500 refugees.
The refugees were transferred to the camp in buses, police cars and trucks where they get food and shelter. IHH through its partner organization PKPU has started giving away hot meals and medication to the refugees on Sunday.
Stranded at sea for 3 months
It is reported that the Rohingya Muslims who were turned down by Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian governments were stranded at sea for 3 months.
Fleeing oppression and persecution
For many years ultra-nationalist Buddhists who are in majority in Myanmar and Myanmar government are persecuting Rohingya Muslims forcing them to flee to other countries. In 2012 the events took an even more violent turn. 140.000 Rohingya Muslims from Arakan are placed in the camps bordering sea under inhumane conditions. The other refugees stranded at sea were Bangladeshis who were trying to migrate due to poor economic conditions.
Following the operations to crack down the human smugglers in the region, ship captains and human smugglers left the boats carrying thousands of refugees adrift at sea.
It is more worrisome that there are a few more boats under these circumstances at sea. Human Rights Organizations blame the governments in the region for referring the refugees from one to the other thus playing with them like a ping pong ball.
Eight thousand refugees on boats
International Organization for Migration reports that there currently are eight thousand refugees in the human smuggling boats adrift in Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea.
The human smuggling route from Bangladesh to Malaysia starts with the transfer of refugees, who paid their fees, from fisherman boats to cargo ships. Following a two-week-voyage in the storerooms of cargo ships refugees arrive at Thailand. Human smugglers keep them locked up in the camps hidden away in jungles in southern Thailand and ask ransom from their families back home for their release. The smugglers starve and abuse the refugees until their ransom is paid. If the families fail to pay the ransom the refugees are either killed or sold as a slave in Thailand or Malaysia.