Most of the students wearing green jackets rushed to the vast basement space of the building. The video shows a group of Rohingya men, women and children sitting on the ground, crying in terror. The Rohingyas packed their belongings in plastic bags and walked out. The protesters boarded the trucks by force.
It was a shock to see that the mob attacked a place where there were many women and children, which sheltered refugee families in distress. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that better arrangements should be made for their protection.
“The group, breaching police security, forced 137 refugees into two trucks. They were sent to another location in Banda Aceh. The incident caused shock and concern among the refugees,” it said in a statement.
It said the attack was a result of a combined online campaign of misinformation and hate speech.
Increasing number of Rohingya refugees
The Rohingya Muslim minority, who are being pushed out of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, are traveling in large numbers by boat to Indonesia. This is causing resentment among the local Indonesians. Thus the Rohingya refugees are facing hostility and contempt.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has blamed human trafficking for the recent surge in Rohingya refugees and promised to work with international organizations to provide temporary shelter. Refugee arrivals peak between November and April. As the seas are calmer at this time, the Rohingya travel by boat to neighboring Thailand and Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia.