Stranded Rohingya

Stranded Rohingya: Thousands of Rohingya people fled persecution in Myanmar in early 2015, along with Bangladeshi migrants fleeing poverty. But they were rejected by their wealthier neighbors. In what the International Organization for Migration described as “maritime ping pong with human life,” the navies of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia refused to let their wooden boats land. Eventually, it was fishermen from Aceh, Indonesia, who took pity on the stateless Rohingya and rescued them. When more than 500 were brought ashore they were starving and traumatized from the journey, where some had been beaten, robbed, and witnessed their fellow passengers die at sea. There was an outpouring of support from the Indonesian people, and the government eventually agreed to shelter the Rohingya for one year.