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A Rohingya Speaks


Habiburahman has encountered torture, detention and statelessness. This moving session is a testimonial to the strength of human spirit, and a look at some truths behind the global refugee crisis.

Hosted by Olivia Rousset. 

In the Studio.

Talks & Ideas | Antidote 

“About 1.5 million of people, the Rohingya, are facing genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crime.”


One refugee's story of genocide and statelessness

Habiburahman was born in 1979, and raised in a small village in western Burma. After the country’s military leader refused to recognise the Rohingya as a people, he became an outlaw in his own country. Since 1982, millions of Rohingya have had to flee their homes as a result of extreme violence and persecution. In 2016 and 2017, over 600,000 Rohingya people were forced to cross the border into Bangladesh. In his memoir First, They Erased Our Name, Habib gives rare insight into this global humanitarian crisis, the historic persecution of the Rohingya people, and the violence he endured until he escaped the country. Don't miss this urgent, necessary exploration of what it means to be stateless and a refugee.

Cheat sheet: Habiburahman

Meet the man who has escaped torture, persecution, and detention in his own country ahead of his talk at Antidote, and find out what you need to know about this growing global humanitarian crisis.

More about Habiburahman...

Habiburahman, known as Habib, is a Rohingya. Born in 1979 in Burma (now Myanmar), he escaped torture, persecution, and detention in his country, fleeing first to neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, and then to Australia, by boat. Habib spent 32 months in detention centres before being released. Habib founded the Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization and is a translator, social worker, the support service co-ordinator at Refugees, Survivors and Ex Detainees. Today, he remains stateless, unable to benefit from his full human rights.

More about the moderator...

Olivia Rousset is a two-time Walkley Award winning documentary filmmaker and video-journalist. She also won the George Munster Prize for independent journalism and two UN Media Peace Prizes. Olivia spent 7 years reporting, shooting and producing stories for Dateline, SBS TV’s flagship international current affairs programme. Olivia has also directed several largely observational documentaries for ABC TV ARTS, Compass and ABC 7.30, as well as for independent production companies.

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