Bangladesh is moving hundreds of Rohingya refugees to a distant island

Bangladesh is moving hundreds of Rohingya refugees to a distant island

According to Bangladesh’s Minister of State Shehryar Alam, a ship carrying about 1,400 refugees will reach Bhasana Char in the next few days, an island about 0 km (24 miles) off the coast near the city of Chittagong. Foreign affairs.

The Bangladeshi government has spent years building a network of shelters on the island to accommodate the 100,000 people currently living in the now-spread refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, near the border with Myanmar.

But human rights groups and refugees themselves are long gone Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya. Sinks and suffers from a cyclone.

Human Rights Watch called the situation on the island “poor”, with the Rohingya likely facing a lack of adequate medical care. The group has also expressed concern that refugees there may be denied freedom of movement, sustainable livelihood or education. It is also unclear whether the role – if any – will allow humanitarian agencies to remain there.

In a statement, Refugees International Said migration was “short-sighted and inhumane” and should be stopped.

“Without proper assessments and adequate information to refugees about the situation on the island, the move is nothing less than a dangerous mass detention in violation of the Rohingya people’s international human rights obligations,” said Daniel Sullivan, the group’s senior human rights lawyer.

“Limited” UN involvement

The government has been building facilities at Bhasan Char for many years to ease the pressure on the camps in Cox’s Bazar, home to about 1 million Rohingya refugees.

Many refugees fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape the violent military crackdown in 2017, which the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered Myanmar to protect the Rohingya population from acts of genocide. Myanmar denies allegations of genocide, and maintains “clearance operations” by the military were legitimate anti-terrorism measures.

The United Nations Statement He was not involved in the preparations and has been given limited information on migration. He was also denied access to the island for safety and technical assessments.

The statement said, “Rohingya refugees should be able to make a free and informed decision about relocating to Charsadda on the basis of relevant, accurate and updated information.”

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“Any migration to Bhasan Char should be preceded by extensive technical security assessments. These independent UN assessments will include the safety, feasibility and sustainability of Bharan Char as a place for refugees to live, as well as the framework and services for protection and assistance they can access on the island.”

Accommodation for about 100,000 Rohingya refugees on Bangladesh's Bhasan Char Island on November 12, 2020.

Hospitals, schools

On Thursday, 933 Rohingya refugees left the camps at Cox’s Bazar in Chittagong Tug Chittagong and more than 400 are expected to travel on Friday, Alam said. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

The two groups are then expected to travel 2.5 hours on a naval vessel to Bhasan Char.

The island could accommodate 100,000 people in 120 shelters, according to Abdullah Al Mamun Chaudhry, commander of the Bangladesh Navy, director of the Bhasan Char Island project.

Each shelter can seat 800 to 1,000 people and each family will have a 12-foot-by-14-foot (3.6-meter-by-4.3-meter) unit, he said.

The shelters have been built 14 feet above the ground level in “any cyclonic situation” and they can withstand winds of 260 kilometers (161 miles per hour), “Chaudhary added. There are two 20-bed hospitals, as well as community clinics and on-site medical staff and three schools.

“We are ready in all aspects,” Chaudhary said. “We’re taking care of food, medical, safety.”

Fear of forcible removal

Bangladesh has said the migration process will be voluntary, but many rights groups have expressed concern that refugees could be forced.

Human Rights Watch said about a dozen families said their names were on the list of people willing to go, but they did not volunteer to be relocated. There are reports that some of the refugees on the list have fled for fear of forced migration.

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Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said: “The Bangladesh government is actively changing its commitment to the United Nations not to relocate any refugees to the four islands unless it is approved by humanitarian experts.” “If the government had true faith in the island’s inhabitants, they would be transparent and not rush the UN’s technical assessment.”

Bangladesh’s foreign minister did not immediately respond to CNN’s questions about forcing refugees to relocate.

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Fortify Rights reports that some Rohingya in the Cox’s Bazar camp were told by unelected Rohingya camp leaders that they could be the first in line to return to Myanmar if they went to Bhasan Char.

“We’re already seeing alarming signs of coercion,” said Ismail Wolf, regional director of Fortify Rights. Said in a statement. “If officials generate consent through deprivation and false promises, we are in the realm of forced transfers.”
About 300 Rohingya refugees stranded at sea for weeks They were the first people after trying to flee Malaysia Brought to the island In the month of May. Some people on the island have reportedly been accused of running a hunger strike in protest of being held there against their will and being beaten by officers, according to rights groups.

Chaudhary said the government has decided to return some of those people to Cox’s Bazar because “families are broken.” He said many of the refugees on the island are women who wanted to be reunited with their relatives.

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