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Photos capture the struggle of Rohingya refugees

A Scottish photographer has teamed up with SCIAF and Justice and Peace Scotland to showcase the reality of life for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, as a new photographic exhibition was launched on World Refugee Day in Glasgow.

Photographer Simon Murphy visited Bangladesh’s Kutupalong refugee camp in December last year to see SCIAF’s work with Caritas Bangladesh, and hopes his photos will inspire people to do their bit to help.

“The more attention that the plight of the Rohingya people receive can only be good as hopefully it might move all who see it to do what they can to help,” Mr Murphy said.

He spoke of how he is ‘filled with conflicting emotions’ when visiting places like the refugee camp.

“I feel deep sadness and helplessness for the people and the conditions that they have to live under,” he said. “I feel guilt that I can return to the comfort of my home and family in Scotland but at the same time feel so grateful that my own children don’t have to suffer like the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable young ones at the camp.”

Mr Murphy’s work will be showcased in a free exhibition at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow until July 17, before it tours all of Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses.

The exhibition will travel to St Margaret’s Cathedral in Ayr from July 18-25, St Peter in Chains Church, Ardrossan from July 26-August 5, St Teresa’s Church, Dumfries from August 7-14, and St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh from October 10-November 6.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya refugees were forced to escape for their lives to Bangladesh from the Myanmar military, where they now live in poverty in a refugee camp.

SCIAF director Alistair Dutton said: “I encourage everyone to come and see his travelling exhibition.

Simon’s pictures tell heart-breaking stories and give real insight into the nightmare the Rohingya people have been through.”

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow said that the photos will ‘challenge our consciences more than 1,000 words’ and that ‘no human being can remain indifferent to the appalling level of suffering seen in these images.’

Justice and Peace Scotland’s Frances Gallagher said: “We hope that by taking these images to every diocese in Scotland, they will help us work towards the welcome, protection, promotion and integration that Pope Francis calls for us to offer the 65 million refugees worldwide,”

– For more dates and locations visit: justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk

You can donate to SCIAF’s Rohingya emergency appeal at: www.sciaf.org.uk/emergency





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