Friday 6 January 2017

Heartbroken Refugee Dad Releases Shocking Picture Of Toddler Son Lying Dead In The Mud Following Burma Crackdown In Chilling Echoes Of Aylan Kurdi


A refugee dad has released a shocking picture of his infant son lying dead after their boat sank while fleeing their home.

A harrowing image shows little Mohammed Shohayet – just 16 months old –lying face down in the mud of a river bank in Myanmar.


Mohammed’s distraught father, Zafor Alam, said his son died after their boat sank while crossing the River Naf to Bangladesh to escape violence in their home country.


The distressing photo has been compared to the image of Syrian refugee child Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body being carried from the Mediterranean after his boat sank in 2015.

“When I see the picture, I feel like I would rather die,” Zafor told CNN. “There is no point in me living in this world.”


Zafor’s wife and other son, 3, also died in the disaster after he claims they were attacked by the Burmese army as they crossed the river.

Zafor’s family belonged to the country’s minority Rohingya Muslim community, which resides mainly in the northern Rakhine state.

The government has been accused of persecuting Rohingyas, which are considered to be foreigners by some in Myanmar.


The refugee said he first fled his village after soldiers attacked it with helicopters, destroying their homes and forcing them to hide in the jungle.

“My grandfather and grandmother were burnt to death,” he said. “Our whole village was burnt by the military. Nothing left.”

After running from village to village, eventually they made it to the river that separates Myanmar from Bangladesh.

Zafor managed to swim across after becoming separated from his loved ones, but organised for them to cross in a boat on December 4.


But just hours after speaking to them on the phone, he says they were attacked by government forces.

*** Myanmar Says ‘No Evidence’ Of Rohingya Genocide

The next he heard of them was the following day, when a friend found his son’s body on the river bank and sent him the harrowing picture.

Zafor said: “I want to let the whole world know the Myanmar government should not be given any more time.


“If you take time to take action, they will kill all Rohingyas.”

The government refutes Zafor’s account, calling it “propaganda”, and says attacks on villages in the area were part of operations against rebels who had ambushed Burmese soldiers and police.

But people continue to flee across the border, with the International Organisation for Migration saying some 34,000 people had crossed in recent weeks.



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