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UN chief concerned over India’s plan to deport Rohingya Muslims

SabrangIndia Staff 16 Aug 2017
The United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres is concerned over reports that Rohingya Muslim refugees, both legal and unregistered, are possibly facing deportation from India.

Rohingya Muslims
Image: Hindustan Times

Denied citizenship status and classified as illegal immigrants, Rohingya Muslims have been the target of repeated violence with state connivance in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The continuing persecution has forced the Rohingyas to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia. From Bangladesh, an estimated 40,000 Rohingyas have sought shelter in India.

The Union Minister of state for Home, Kiren Rijiju told Parliament last week that the Centre has asked state authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas.
   
“Obviously, we have our concerns about the treatment of refugees,” Guterres’ Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told during a regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. “Once refugees are registered, they are not to be returned back to countries where they fear persecution.”

According to doctrine in the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, no nation shall expel or return a refugee in any manner to territories where his life or freedom would be threatened.

Some of the 4,000 Rohingyas who have been living in the old city of Hyderabad told the Hindustan Times, “If sent back forcibly we’ll be killed.” Maulana Hameed-ul-Haq (50), a cleric at one of the Rohingya settlements in Balapur, says, “It will be better if we are killed in India than in our own country. We will anyway be killed if we are forcibly sent back.” 

“The Indian government was kind enough to acknowledge us as refugees. The Telangana government has been looking after us really well and we feel safe and secure here. Now, suddenly the news about we being sent back has caused a lot of panic among us,” said the Maulana.

The UN spokesperson told the Dawn that UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) office would take up the issue with the Indian government. He reminded India of UN’s position against deporting refugees.
 
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has said deporting and abandoning the Rohingya would be “unconscionable,” according to an ANI report.

UN chief concerned over India’s plan to deport Rohingya Muslims

The United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres is concerned over reports that Rohingya Muslim refugees, both legal and unregistered, are possibly facing deportation from India.

Rohingya Muslims
Image: Hindustan Times

Denied citizenship status and classified as illegal immigrants, Rohingya Muslims have been the target of repeated violence with state connivance in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The continuing persecution has forced the Rohingyas to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia. From Bangladesh, an estimated 40,000 Rohingyas have sought shelter in India.

The Union Minister of state for Home, Kiren Rijiju told Parliament last week that the Centre has asked state authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas.
   
“Obviously, we have our concerns about the treatment of refugees,” Guterres’ Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told during a regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. “Once refugees are registered, they are not to be returned back to countries where they fear persecution.”

According to doctrine in the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, no nation shall expel or return a refugee in any manner to territories where his life or freedom would be threatened.

Some of the 4,000 Rohingyas who have been living in the old city of Hyderabad told the Hindustan Times, “If sent back forcibly we’ll be killed.” Maulana Hameed-ul-Haq (50), a cleric at one of the Rohingya settlements in Balapur, says, “It will be better if we are killed in India than in our own country. We will anyway be killed if we are forcibly sent back.” 

“The Indian government was kind enough to acknowledge us as refugees. The Telangana government has been looking after us really well and we feel safe and secure here. Now, suddenly the news about we being sent back has caused a lot of panic among us,” said the Maulana.

The UN spokesperson told the Dawn that UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) office would take up the issue with the Indian government. He reminded India of UN’s position against deporting refugees.
 
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has said deporting and abandoning the Rohingya would be “unconscionable,” according to an ANI report.

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