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Book talk: Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History and Hate Speech, Dr Ronan Lee

February 28 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Myanmar’s Rohingya community are among the most persecuted people on earth. Following decades of human rights abuses within Myanmar, they endured a brutally violent forced deportation to Bangladesh at the hands of the Myanmar military in 2017. This scorched earth military campaign involved the mass killing of civilians, sickening sexual violence and the razing of hundreds of Rohingya villages by fire. Around 800,000 Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh on foot, and today live in the world’s largest refugee camp complex, adjacent to the Myanmar frontier.

The genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar has drawn global attention, a case at the International Court of Justice and recently a US government genocide declaration. “Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History and Hate Speech” is a unique study drawing on extensive fieldwork including interviews and testimony from the Rohingya in Myanmar, in their refugee camps and among the diaspora further afield to assess and outline the full scale of the disaster. The book casts new light on Rohingya identity, history and culture, and is a significant contemporary study of the early stages of genocide.

In 2022, the Myanmar junta used state media to announce a ban on the sale of “Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide”, shuttering bookshops and arresting book sellers, indicating Rohingya fears of further crimes are well founded.

About the speaker

Dr Ronan Lee is a Doctoral Prize Fellow at Loughborough University London’s Institute for Media and Creative Industries where his research focusses on the Rohingya, genocide, hate speech, migration, and Asian politics.

Lee’s book Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History and Hate Speech was published by Bloomsbury in 2021, and he was awarded the 2021 Early Career Emerging Scholar Prize by the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Dr Lee has a professional background in politics, media, and public policy. He was formerly a Queensland State Member of Parliament (2001-2009) and served on the frontbench as a Parliamentary Secretary (2006-2008) in portfolios including Justice, Main Roads and Local Government. He has also worked as a senior government advisor, and as an election strategist and campaign manager.

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