The eternal outsiders.

ON Friday, officials in Myanmar announced the release of nearly 25,000 prisoners to the applause and relief of their family members. President Win Myint said the purpose behind the largest release of prisoners in the country was 'to bring delight to the citizens of Myanmar' on their traditional new year. Just one day earlier, however, 382 Rohingya refugees were rescued by the coast guard of Bangladesh, as they were making their way towards Malaysia. Of which land were they citizens of? Adrift in a tempestuous sea for nearly two months, more than two dozen of them tragically perished on the overcrowded boat, while the remaining survivors were found emaciated. Surely, they too had families who were worried sick for their safety, anxious to hear of some news, perhaps of their freedom? Unfortunately, despite originally hailing from Myanmar's Rakhine state, the Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship for decades, and suffer in confinements and camps that have been described over and over again as 'open air prisons'. They are dehumanised, the target of racial and religious prejudice, and cannot travel freely...

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