Burma Times Correspondent: July 26, 2015
Rohingya refugees in Shaplapur, Bangladesh are in dire straits as they struggle to pay off debts accumulated for paying off traffickers.
There is at least one male member from almost every family in the area who took to the boats for Malaysia this year. When the migrants left on the boats, they were under the impression that they could pay back the money once they found work in Malaysia. Instead they were taken to the jungle camps of Thailand and tortured.
As they were tortured, their cries were relayed back to their family members by telephone. In desperation, the family members borrowed large amounts of money from fishing boat owners and loan sharks at high interest rates to pay off the traffickers so the torture would stop.
Now the family members have to struggle to pay back the creditors. Most of the refugees in the area survive on daily income which is hardly enough for food and rent. Under this circumstance, it is a huge burden to pay off the debts.
But under pressure from creditors, refugees are forced to do just that. As a result, most Rohingyas don’t have enough for food. Many including children are going without food for days.