Rohingya say they were forced to drink urine to stay alive on four-month sea journey



Among the roughly 100 in the group were 48 women and 35 children.

They set off from the Balukhali refugee camp in southern Bangladesh, but were originally from Myanmar’s conflict-torn Rakhine State, according to survivors and an account given to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

A spokesperson for the group told the IOM that one woman had died on the way, leaving behind her two children.

Another three children, two of them siblings, and a 10-year-old girl were unaccompanied. The group also included a pregnant woman, according to the IOM.

The smugglers were charging each person about $2,300 to get them to Malaysia, the IOM said.

Around a million Rohingya live in cramped and squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh, where human traffickers also run lucrative operations promising to find them sanctuary abroad.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation, and neighbouring Malaysia are favoured destinations for Rohingya fleeing persecution and violence in mostly Buddhist Myanmar.

Thousands try a perilous escape via smugglers across the sea each year.

About 1,400 Rohingya have been stranded at sea this year – and at least 130 of those have died, according to IOM figures.

Last week, a Malaysian coastguard official said dozens of Rohingya were believed to have died during a months-long journey to that country.



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