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Millennium Post

'Press'ing concerns

Pressing concerns
Horrific details are surfacing each day about the ongoing Rohingya crisis that has led to the exodus of 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from the Buddhist dominated nation of Myanmar, to neighbouring Bangladesh. In an attempt at what is being termed as the most brutal form of 'ethnic cleansing', the Rohingya community, which has faced the whiplash of the military in Myanmar has been rendered homeless, without citizenship or shelter. Widening the ground for crisis and terror in the near future, this community today is possibly the most neglected, with few coming to its rescue, as most countries have refused to house the fleeing immigrants. More than 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including 730 children below the age of five, were killed between the months of August and September since violence broke out in the Rakhine state. Though the UN and the international community have been unequivocal in condemning this brutal act of gross human rights violation, few have come to their palpable rescue. Bringing down the curtains on this tragedy, two Reuters journalists who have now been arrested in Myanmar further exemplifies the gross erosion of freedom that is escalating across the country. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who had been investigating stories on the Rakhine crisis, were detained under the notion that they were "illegally acquiring information with the intention to share it with foreign media." This outrageous arrest further enhances the prevalence of the crisis plaguing Myanmar at the moment. The freedom of the press is essential to any democracy, especially, in a time of crisis when an entire community is being whitewashed by the authorities in governance. This detention further exemplifies the gross violation of human rights that has become endemic to Myanmar. Despite facing criticism from the UN, there seems to be no halting the country in continuing its illegal activities. Multiple sources of news agencies have highlighted how women have been repeatedly raped by men in uniform, who have neither received punishment nor displayed any remorse for their activities. Amid this crisis, the curtailing of press freedom further highlights how the country wishes to continue its cleansing without interference from the international community or scrutiny from human rights organisations. Journalists are playing an eminent role in securing the stories of the thousands who are being swept under this storm of ethnic cleansing and curtailing their freedom is a complete impingement upon the ideals of human rights and independent decision making. The state of Myanmar is being reduced to a pathetic democracy that is failing in protecting its citizens and even those who are functioning to protect its people. This detainment is an act of utter shame and must be condemned the world over. Freedom of the press is essential to uphold modernity and civilisation.
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