Last week, we received a WhatsApp message from a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh. It may have been one of the last messages he could send.
Earlier this month, the Bangladeshi government ordered telecommunications companies to stop selling SIM cards and shut down mobile phone services to nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in sprawling camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The government claimed the order was made on “security grounds”, but human rights groups and Rohingya refugees say the move would “further isolate and victimise the already persecuted people”.
This week, we take you to Cox’s Bazar to learn what a communications blackout would mean for hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees.
Dina Kesbeh produced this episode with Ney Alvarez, Morgan Waters, Amy Walters, Priyanka Tilve, Alexandra Locke and Malika Bilal. Luke Rohwer was the sound designer. Natalia Aldana is the social media producer. Graelyn Brashear is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.
Special thanks to Mohammed Jamjoom, Mayyu Ali, Zarni and Nay San Lwin.
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