Rohingya refugees set adrift to die

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People from a fishing village in Aceh organised a dramatic rescue to save hundreds of migrants who were in peril off Indonesia after they were shunned by navies in the region.

The refugees, who are from a Muslim minority, are fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The Thai navy threatened to open fire on their vessel if it attempted to land. Malaysia and Indonesia gave them a similar welcome.

Aceh, which was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, is desperately poor. But despite this, its people rushed to rescue the refugees.

After helping to save hundreds of lives, Suryadi, a local fisherman, said, “We helped out of solidarity. If we find someone in the ocean we have to help them no matter who they are.

“The police did not like us helping but we could not avoid it. Our sense of humanity was higher. So we just helped with the limited resources that we had at the time.”