Handdrawn pictures by Rohingya children reveal horrors

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The horrors inflicted upon the Rohingya people after being forced from their homes in Myanmar have been captured in heartbreaking, hand-drawn images by children who survived.

With little more than pencil crayons and paper, children living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh illustrated what they remember from their escape.

Tanks, machine guns, and helicopters spraying bullets at homes are among the images. In many, bodies are heavily shaded with the colour red.

Fatima Khairunnahar, a UNICEF child protection worker, said the pictures are proof of what happened to the Rohingya.

“Children do not lie. It’s not that somebody told them, this is the story, you need to draw it like that,” Khairunnahar told CTV’s Peter Akman.

“This kind of terrorism, genocide … has heavily affected them.”

Thousands of children are among those living in refugee camps with deep mental and physical scars. UNICEF has arranged 97 makeshift schools in the camps, where children are being encouraged to use art to express what happened to them.

Monsur Ali, 11, drew an image of nooses hanging from a tree while gunmen fire at bodies from the ground.

“They took people to the trees, tied the up and shot them right in front of me,” the boy said.

Another boy, Zonnotola, told CTV News that he drew his picture of AK-47s because he wants to show others what happened to him.

“They came in groups. They were shooting at us. I thought I would die,” he said.

Refugee camps are now dealing with serious problems over sanitation and water. UNICEF officials said that water-borne diseases are now the number one killer of children in the camp. Aid workers are rushing to deliver the necessary immunizations.

Among those trying to help is Ahmed Ullah, who was born in the Rohingya refugee camps 24 years ago and later moved to Canada.

Ullah travelled to Bangladesh to deliver critical aid to those who need it, and also offer a sense of hope.

“Nothing has been fixed,” Ullah said. “People are acting like animals because they are hungry and (need) water. They are going crazy here.”

With a report from CTV’s Peter Akman in Bangladesh

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