Nations must ensure deportees’ safety: Bangladesh Speaker
As India prepares to deport seven Rohingya “illegals” to Myanmar on Thursday, two UN agencies urged the government to refrain from doing anything that would endanger the lives of those it plans to deport.
“UN High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed its view that the current conditions in Rakhine State in Myanmar are not conducive for safe, dignified and sustainable return for Rohingya,” a UNHCR spokesperson told The Hindu,calling upon India to reconsider its decision and “refrain from measures that could directly or indirectly lead to the return of a person to a country where his or her life or freedom would be in danger”.
In a separate statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tendayi Achiume, the UN Special Rapporteur on racism, said: “The Indian Government has an international legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection.”
The decision to press ahead with the deportation of seven Rohingya, who entered Assam illegally in 2012, came even as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was on a visit to India.
In an interaction on Tuesday, Mr. Guterres warned that sending the Rohingya back to an unsafe situation in Myanmar would violate UN principles on “refoulement”.
Separately, Shirin Sharmeen Chaudhury, Speaker of Parliament of Bangladesh — where almost a million Rohingyas have taken refuge after fleeing attacks by Myanmar’s security forces — asked countries to exercise caution and ensure the safety of the men being deported before sending them to Myanmar’s Rakhine state.