Malaysian Mass Graves: Migrants Fled Persecution Only To Find Death

May 26, 2015

Malaysian migrants’ mass graves testify to the tragedy of people who fled persecution only to find death… 

Authorities in Malaysia recently made the grisly discovery when they found over 139 graves in an area close to the Malaysia-Thailand border.

The corpses, some of them reduced to skeletons, were discovered in abandoned camps located in densely forested boundary zones.

Investigators believe human traffickers built the detention centers for the specific purpose of inhumanely detaining migrants there so to extort loved ones into paying more money for their already-promised transports to “better” lands.

Wooden cages and pens surrounded by barbed wire were found -- horrible tiny jails for people whose only crime was the desire for a decent life -- as well as tiny sandals and at least one teddy bear -- heartbreakingly-poignant evidence of the presence of children.

Who were the people whose remains were found in these sordid makeshift cemeteries? While some were determined to be Bangladeshis, it’s believed that the majority were Rohingyas, a Muslim minority in the chiefly Buddhist country of Myanmar (formerly called Burma).

Rohingyas are subject to a fierce degree of discrimination in Myanmar, and, thus, cannot legally be citizens of their homeland even though many of them have generations of ancestors who have lived there.

In Myanmar, they face rigid segregation from other groups, including restrictions that deny them jobs and prevent them from legitimately traveling domestically or abroad.

Outbreaks of conflict between the Rohingya minority and Myanmar’s Buddhist majority started in 2012 and have led to many Rohingyas illicitly fleeing the country in droves.

The United Nations has released estimates stating that the number of oppressed Rohingya who have fled since 2012 is over 100,000 so far.

Tragically though, the boats in which they attempt to escape the hostilities are typically horribly constructed and overcrowded, and the countries they seek sanctuary in often hostile to their landing.

As a result, the shabbily-constructed crafts often languish at sea, together with their desperate refugees.

Denise Noe

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