On August 25, 2017, the Rohingya people in Myanmar were the targets of a large-scale campaign of merciless violence. More than 700,000 people fled for their lives across the border into Bangladesh in a matter of weeks, joining thousands who had fled previous attacks. Today, nearly one million Rohingya still live in crowded, unsafe, and unsanitary conditions in what is now the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox's Bazar.
To mark five years of continued displacement with no solution in sight, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) gathered testimonies from people of different generations with different concerns and fears: Tayeba, a mother of five-year-old twins; 15-year-old Anwar, who misses school and wants to become a doctor; Nabi and Nasima, the parents of young children; Hashimullah, a 45-year-old former businessman; and 65-year-old Mohamed, who worked in the Myanmar government for decades before he and his people were stripped of their citizenship.
This is Mohamed Hussein's story
I graduated from high school in 1973. I even had a job as a government employee because, at the time, Rohingya were recognized under the constitution.
After achieving independence from British rule in 1948, the government accepted us as citizens. If someone's father was born in Myanmar and the son was as well, both could be recognized as citizens. People of every ethnicity enjoyed equal rights. No one faced discrimination.
This all changed in 1978, when the Naga Min or “Dragon King” census was conducted. The census determined who was a citizen of Myanmar and who was Bangladeshi. Many people were arrested for not having proper documents. Scared for my life, I fled. Later, the government of Myanmar took us back again. They made an agreement with the Bangladesh government, and we were promised if we returned, our rights would be guaranteed.
This promise was not kept. Land [was] returned to [its] owners, but our rights were not ensured. This was the beginning of our oppression. We were treated as pariahs, and gradual deprivation turned into persecution.
The authorities stripped us of our citizenship [in Myanmar]. Under the  Citizenship Law, they recognized categories of ethnicity, and percentages of each were announced. This categorization had not existed before.
At this time, despite our citizenship being taken away, Rohingya were still accepted in the country as foreigners. Different regions broadcast the news of Rohingya communities. After the military takeover, our radio airtime was canceled.
We were no longer allowed to pursue higher education. Travel restrictions were imposed, and the military accused us of being involved in conflict with the Buddhists. Reputed members of the Rohingya community were arrested or fined due to allegations of oppressing the Buddhists. Curfews were enacted, and if someone was found visiting another house, he was tortured. So, we started keeping our mouths shut when something happened in our community.
Every year, they came up with new orders. The ones who failed to comply were arrested. Despite all of this, we could still vote. We elected members that participated in parliamentary sessions. Then, in 2015, even our right to vote was taken away.
We felt belittled and worried. In the country where our ancestors had been living, we could no longer vote. Our hearts sank when we were called intruders. The unjust treatment came to the point that we had to flee.