“At sea the next morning, the teenager [Noor] used a satellite phone to call her mother, Gule Jann, 43, to say she was heading for Malaysia on a small wooden boat, packed with 87 Rohingya refugees, including 65 women and girls,” write Sur and Wright. They added, “Some were fleeing what their families say is the increased risk of sexual assault and rape during the pandemic in the sprawling refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh, home to more than 1 million displaced people.”
Noor inquired with her mother about 40,000 taka ($470) to assist with paying the trafficker to ensure she arrived in Malaysia.
For now, Noor’s mother is losing faith that her daughter will be located. “I fled with my daughter from Myanmar four years ago after my village was burnt, and today my daughter is at risk of being sent back to the same place or dying in the sea,” Jaan told Sur and Wright.