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[liberationtech] Satellite phones for Rohingya in Burma

ttscanada ttscanada at
Sun Mar 17 13:17:16 PDT 2013

Hi Jacob,

Yes, exactly to the security issues, which is why we have tried nothing 
to date, any Rohingya caught with anything like a camera or radio is 
tortured and killed. Ease of use is also paramount, there is no point 
risking lives to get a phone in that no one can use. We are 
unfortunately at final wipeout stage and the people there are agreed 
that the risk of being killed is 100% with or without phones. I don't 
know of anything except satellite phones they could use to document. The 
military is definitely paranoid of cameras, phones and outsiders atm. 
The situation in every refugee camp outside Burma is also awful, but 
still not at the stage where it is worth risking lives. We have managed 
to get some pictures (like of Rakhine flyers announcing the next 
massacre) but almost nothing out of Sittwe. There is plenty that needs 
documenting in the surrounding areas though.

In any case, they know they will die, they don't want to die without a 
trace. I am slightly more optimistic that if we get some pictures out 
some of them won't die at all, we have it from good sources that the 
government is already very annoyed at the small publicity we have 
created and worried at the war crimes documentation. The government's 
official position is that the Rohingya don't actually exist, or if they 
did they just left.

All the best,

Heather Marsh
@GeorgieBC on Twitter

On 13-03-17 12:29 PM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
> Dear Heather,
> ttscanada:
>> Hi all,
>> For those that aren't aware, 800,000 Rohingya people in Burma are being
>> cut off from communication as the military and government try to drive
>> them out of the country. Over 100,000 are being starved to death in
>> concentration camps, the rest are driven into boats which neighbouring
>> countries are refusing to allow to land. There have been two large scale
>> massacres as well, one in June, one in October. Our contacts have been
>> saying for weeks there is another massacre planned for the end of March,
>> but even if there weren't, they are living in houses made of straw and
>> plastic bags with no food or medical aid and the rains are coming. This
>> is a full scale genocide supported by the current Burma/Myanmar
>> government. Media and aid groups are blocked and the people are jailed
>> just for having a TV, they have no phones.
> I'm well aware and having just been in Burma, I'm sad to say that most
> people in the world are unaware; those in Burma that know seem afraid to
> speak out.
>> More information, check out over 100 pages of links here
>> the #Rohingya tag on
>> Twitter or google.
>> We have a way to hopefully get some journalists in to document war
>> crimes. We need satellite phones for the Rohingya people as well, as
>> many as possible, donated would be great. If anyone has any ideas for a
>> good phone source it would be appreciated.
> Please be very careful - the communications systems in Burma are all
> highly monitored and heavily controlled. During my recent trip to Burma,
> I was part of a team that worked on a report about the communications
> systems in county. Please feel free to pass it on to people:
> Satellite phones are extremely privacy invasive (interception, location
> tracking, etc) and short of the Cryptophone Satellite phone (
> ) used in a very
> specific way, I wouldn't even touch one of those devices if I thought
> that the Burmese military was possibly targeting me.
> All the best,
> Jacob
> --
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