Boat carrying 76 Rohingya refugees arrives in Indonesia

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By Euronews
A boat carrying 76 Rohingya refugees has landed in Indonesia
A boat carrying 76 Rohingya refugees has landed in Indonesia   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Oviyandi Emnur

A boat carrying 76 Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar has landed in Indonesia.

It's the latest in what human rights group fear will become a wave of dangerous sea-crossings by the persecuted Muslim minority.

Fariq Muhammad, one of the newly arrived refugees, explained why he left Myanmar:

"We were forced to leave because we could not stay, we could not work, so our lives became very difficult. They didn't give us identity cards either".

The situation in Indonesia, which is home to the world's largest Muslim population, is far from ideal.

The country usually accepts asylum-seekers arriving by boat but they have limited rights and many spend years living in camps.

Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August, when militant attacks sparked a military crackdown against the minority group. Most have gone to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar says it has started a repatriation process but the UN has questioned the claim and expressed concern about the safety of returning refugees.