Rohingya refugee, Mohammed Musa Mozermia, 22, from Northern Arakan, Burma, pictured in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"I left the country because in 2005 near my village there was a new military settlement and because of that all the land was confiscated and we became landless people. In addition we had to go for forced labour at least one day a week, sometimes two. We had to do portering, cutting grass and bamboo, and preparing their food. I stayed until 2011 and finally I decided to go to Bangladesh to earn some money. I lived there for 6 months. I knew that once I left Burma I could not go back. If I go back I will be arrested and put in jail for a long time, 15 to 20 years, or sometimes even death. There are a lot of informants, even from the relatives; our parents have to go and tell the authorities otherwise the blame/punishment will fall on them. Every 3 to 4 months there is a check to see the family list.
In Bangladesh there is also no safe place for us, the police arrest the Rohingya people. I worked in the paddy fields and cut fire wood. I worked for 5 months and saved 10,000 taka [£70], then I contacted the Maji [broker for a boat]. After one week I arranged to leave, I paid all my savings. At 3am I left in the boat with 40 persons. It took 10 days to reach Thailand. The Maji gave us one meal per day, either snake or rice, and water was available. Four people got seriously sick, all the people became weak, I've never been in the sea before, living in the sea is something very scary. I didn't see anything except water, water, water, there was no hope. Everyone of us thought that one day we could die here. When I saw land I felt very happy and excited. As soon as we landed on the land the authorities came in and the happiness was gone.
The police came and arrested us and sold us to the agents [traffickers]. I saw the agent pay money to the police. They brought us to the forest and put us in a hut and we worked for them cutting the forest for 15 days. An agen