Habiburahman is the founder and spokesperson for The Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation.
More than 500 Rohingya people live in Melbourne and around 3000 in Australia.
Since 2013, ABRO has been representing Rohingya-Australians and people seeking asylum and raising awareness about the atrocities being committed in Burma.
ABRO has lobbied local MPs, demonstrated outside the Burmese embassy in Canberra, contributed to rallies, released statements and are connected in with Islamic communities and advocacy organisations, including the ASRC.
We are working together to campaign for urgent action to halt atrocities, resettlement and permanent protection of Rohingya in Australia.
Habiburahman describes the situation facing his people as:
‘Complete destruction of the community: arbitrary killings, burning of villages, ethnic cleansing, corporal and collective punishment, slaughter, burning alive, beheading, rapes and violence against women, systematic confinement and pushing people into concentration camps.’
‘Burmese military, and government are enacting segregation and eradication from homeland, destruction of historical and ancestral existence, blocking aid, food, education, healthcare, livelihood, cutting off of electricity and water.’
‘The identity of Rohingya is being destroyed and they are being permanently barred from the right to have rights.’
‘The UN has called the actions against Rohingya by Burmese military and others ethnic cleansing. The UN must upgrade their assessment to genocide in order to take action.’
‘Since 25 August 2017, the Burmese armed forces and local militia have killed more 3000 Rohingya civilians and driven out 400,000 from 61 villages across three townships, burning down around 30,000 houses while laying landmines and heavily and indiscriminately using helicopters, tanks and artillery including machine guns against people as they are fleeing.’
Habib and ABRO want the Australian government to call on UN security council to take effective action against Burma, including economic sanctions and deployment of international peace keeping force to halt and prevent the atrocities.
Urgent international aid distribution is needed, ensuring the aid Australia has pledged is delivered directly to hands of Rohingya experiencing atrocities.
In Australia, Habib says we must share the responsibility equally to resettle Rohingya, we must reopen the doors to settling from transition countries like Bangladesh, where people are not safe.
We need to commit to taking 20,000 people immediately and urgently process cases of Rohingya people in Australia.
Around 100 Rohingya people are still languishing on Manus and Nauru and up to 1000 live in Australia without a permanent protection visa, many with no right to work.
What’s more, we must expedite the process and grant everyone permanent protection so they are better able to support their families back home.
Together we can and must take action to stop the genocide of Rohingya in our own backyard.
Take Action – three priorities for three leaders as a community we MUST ramp up political pressure.
Support ABRO who are directly connected and assisting people on the ground as well as campaigning for effective international action.
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