BBC criticised for paying Rohingya Muslims just £33 a day for ‘Our Girl’ show

Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh

The BBC has been criticised for paying Rohingya Muslims just £33 a day to relive their plight fleeing Myanmar as extras on the hit show Our Girl.

BBC crew and cast members including star actress Michelle Keegan, 30, were furious at the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims, described by the United Nations as “one of the most persecuted minorities in the world”.

Around a hundred Rohingya Muslims were picked for episodes in the next series of the BBC1 show filmed in Malaysia, which borders their war-torn home nation of Myanmar.

More than 60,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Malaysia where they live in impoverished circumstances as UN-registered refugees.

Over the weekend, the BBC was accused of exploiting the refugees, with one suffering a seizure on set and requiring hospital treatment.

Refugee Habibah Abdullah told The Sun she saw a man collapse in the heat during a 12-hour day filming

She said: “Everybody was reliving personal nightmares and it was very difficult for us but we had to go through it all because we need the money.

“We are accustomed to hardship and if that is what we have to go through to earn money to feed our families, of course we will do it.

“Babies were crying and children all around me were screaming ‘mummy, mummy’. It was a really hot day and one man collapsed in the water.”

The 23-year-old had spent 15 days at sea escaping Myanmar, yet spent hours in fast-moving water for the show.

Around 900,000 persecuted Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh while about 60,000 sailed to Malaysia.

Amnesty International says security forces have carried out a “campaign of widespread, systematic murder, rape and burning”.

The government of Myanmar — a predominantly Buddhist country led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi — claims that Rohingya Muslims are illegal immigrants who belong in neighbouring Bangladesh.

 

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