Our Voices

Rights for Rohingya Refugees

To the Editor:

In “Rohingya Refugees Are Moved From Bangladesh Camps to Remote Island” (news article, Dec. 5), human rights activists can’t say they were surprised by Bangladeshi resettlement of Rohingya, yet the news brings with it dismal finality.

Naval boats are being used to transport nearly 100,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bhasan Char, part of the Bangladeshi government’s plan to ease crowding in refugee camps where more than a million have lived since fleeing Myanmar’s systematic persecution.

Executing such a task is not only shortsighted, but it again tramples on the fundamental human rights of people abused by the authorities over and over.

Bangladesh must stop further relocation until an independent technical and protection assessment is in place and refugees’ informed and free consent obtained.

Access to Bhasan Char should be given to United Nations agencies for assessment and continuous support in the camps, ensuring that conditions are safe and that those who reside there want to be there.

Such preconditions for any relocation should not only be met, but also demanded by the international community. The onus should be on pushing Myanmar to recognize Rohingya as full citizens and ensure the safe return to their country.

Read the original article here.