Malala says world should protect Rohingya Muslims


The global community needs to protect the Muslim minority in Myanmar, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has told British broadcaster BBC.

"We can't be silent right now," she said, speaking to the media outlet in Oxford, England where she will attend university.

She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 after the Taliban in Pakistan tried to kill her in a gun attack because she was advocating girls' right to education.

She escaped the attack injured but unconscious and was brought to the U.K. for further treatment.

Malala also urged Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to speak up for the Rohingya, who have been subjected to recent violence and displacement.

"Children are being deprived of education, they cannot receive basic rights -- and living in a terrorism situation, when there's so much violence around you, is extremely difficult," she said.

"We need to wake up and respond to it -- and I hope that Aung Sang Suu Kyi responds to it as well," she added.

More than a quarter of a million Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh in the last two weeks to escape persecution in Myanmar, the UN said on Friday.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) also said it interviewed 50 recently arrived Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who described killings, shelling and arson in their villages.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to raise the plight of the Rohingya at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 19.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Maungdaw, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including those of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel.

In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations indicated crimes against humanity.

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