Brian Sokol/UNICEF

Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh

Manoshi [name changed to protect her identity] in a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. It was on a Friday in morning August last year the Myanmar army surrounded Manoshi's village. She did not realise at the time that it would be a prelude to her suffering. When the military first appeared, they deployed on the tops of the hills surrounding her village on the flatlands below. In the ensuing mayhem described by Manoshi, she said that she witnessed scores of people, possibly up to 1,000 Rohingya Muslim villagers, being killed. 'In Burma [Myanmar], my brother and my four sisters were murdered [by the army],' she said. 'My father was also killed, leaving my mother and me as the only survivors.' Manoshi herself was sexually violated by the soldiers. Their attack continued into the night and because her husband and in-laws were on the other side of the village when it began, she was alone and defenseless in her family's home. Six or seven army men carrying knives and guns forced their way into her house and one of them raped her while the others watched. After the rape, the soldiers set the house on fire from the outside. Manoshi managed to escape the house and met her husband and her in-laws on the hill. She told him that she had been raped. 'He told me to forget the incident before deciding to fight the army with no weapon other than a lathi,' or bamboo stick. Manoshi estimates that about 300 boys and men went to fight the army that day and the overwhelming majority of them were killed. Only about 50 of them came back alive. It was not until four days after the attack that Manoshi who fled on foot to a camp in Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees - discovered that her mother was still alive. But the pair remain separated, with Manoshi living alone under a makeshift shelter in a different camp to her mother, who is now living with the husband of one of her murdered sisters. Manoshi said that her mother knows that she was raped. The pair now only have intermittent contact with each other. She said that she realized she was pregnant about a month after arriving in Bangladesh and that she was '100% sure' that it was from the rape. Her mother and father-in-law informed her that because she was made pregnant from a man who was not their son, they would not allow her to live with them and she would have to make do on her own. Manoshi bravely says that she is willing to face the future alone with just her child for company. 'If he or she looks Burmese [like the rapist], what will I do? I will keep my baby,' she said determinedly. 'I never considered a termination because Allah has given me this baby. I am not thinking about the future, I am thinking about what God has given me. 'I lost all my relatives, I have no family who will talk with me. When my baby comes he or she will be my friend and my partner. 'I will try to raise him or her to be a good and educated person.' She said that although her future is uncertain, she will be happy that the baby is born in the c

Part of story
Object Name
Copyright
Brian Sokol/UNICEF
City
Cox's Bazaar
Country
Bangladesh
Restrictions
Max size
High Resolution
3750 x 5000 pixels
31.75 x 42.33 cm (300 dpi)
12.5 x 16.67 inch (300 dpi)
2.3 MB size on disk
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