DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azad069 ISSN: 0007-0955

The Victimization of Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh: Breaking the Silence - Postcolonial Criminology, Ethnography and Genocide

Manikandan Soundararajan, Karuppannan Jaishankar, Mark Bushell, Luke Telford, James Treadwell
  • Law
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


This paper gives voice to the victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Using criminological ethnographic research in refugee camps in Bangladesh, we examine the qualitative accounts of violence and persecution and ‘break the silence’ by giving voice to Rohingya people who had fled military violence. We place the Rohingya’s testimonies within a wider theoretical and historical discussion that also addresses the condition of criminology when it comes to understanding and analysing the crime of all crimes—genocide. In recent years, the potential for postcolonial criminology in explaining global inequalities and injustices has been much discussed. However, we critique parts of this debate and instead emphasize the importance of foregrounding the realities of extreme victimization of powerless individuals such as the Rohingya.

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