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India Set to Deport Thousands of Rohingya Muslims Back to Myanmar


Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 14-08-2017

The UNHCR has issued identity cards to about 16,500 Rohingya in India [Altaf Qadri/AP]

India’s government is looking to deport an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar, including those registered with the UN refugee agency.

Deputy Interior Minister Kiren Rijiju told Reuters over the weekend that the Rohingya living in India were illegal immigrants and must be deported.

Rijiju a high-profile minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, says the Rohingya have no basis to live in India

“As far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants. Anybody who is illegal migrant will be deported.”

Rijiju says their registration with the UN refugee agency was irrelevant.

“We can’t stop them from registering. But we are not signatory to the accord on refugees.”

Meenakshi Ganguly, the Human Rights Watch’s South Asia director, slammed the plan, noting India as a member of the UN Human Rights Council was aware of the risks Rohingya refugees faced if deported.

“India was part of the council that authorised a fact-finding mission after tens of thousands of Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh from Mynamar, following a security operation in which hundreds were killed and raped.”

Ganguly says India is aware of the risks of abuse of the Rohingya and has an international obligation to protect them.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas have fled their homes since the first bout of violence were sparked in 2012.

Since then they live in despicable conditions in camps that New York Times dubbed 21st century concentration camps.

– Agencies

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