Military Coup in Myanmar Puts Rohingya and Other Minorities at Risk

Fri, 02/05/2021 - 12:40pm

The coup in Myanmar earlier this week, ending the country's experiment with limited democracy, brought to power military and police implicated in carrying out genocide against the Rohingya people in 2017.   

This troubling development could result in further consequences for the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar. More than 600,000 people remain at risk—perhaps now even more than ever.    

A USC Shoah Foundation team led by Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Stephen Smith traveled to Bangladesh, home to many Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, in the aftermath of the 2017 genocide to conduct research and speak with survivors.

“We are committed to these people and to having their stories heard, and we’ll continue to closely monitor events there,” said Smith.   

A total of 11 life-history interviews with Rohingya have been added to the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (VHA), the world’s largest repository of genocide testimony. The collection has since been used by a range of researchers and international legal advocates.  

In this VHA interview, Shafika Begum describes a massacre at her Rohingya village.

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Rohingya Survivor Shafika Begum

Rohingya survivor Shafika Begum remembers the 2017 deaths of her four best friends at the hands of the Burmese military.

USC Shoah Foundation