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Although the crisis facing Rohingya communities in Rakhine – and now regionally, in Bangladesh and elsewhere – is by no means new, the dramatic escalation in recent weeks has led to an unprecedented level of humanitarian need for the Rohingya people. The Bangladesh National Human Rights Council is among an increasing number of organizations and individuals prepared to label the crisis as “tantamount to genocide.”
This report discusses the central role that access to information has played in the current situation. Lack of information, misinformation, and outright propaganda, have driven the conflict, raising tensions on all sides, stoking rumors, emboldening extremist elements, and masking atrocities. The Rohingya community in particular is remarkably vulnerable to this risk.
(Banner photo: By DFID – UK Department for International Development [CC BY-SA 2.0])