Don’t turn away those fleeing sectarian violence in Rakhine state

1

The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network is gravely concerned that Bangladesh has denied safe haven to those fleeing from recent sectarian violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar and has taken action to forcibly return asylum seekers back to Myanmar.

Fleeing the violence in Arakan state – Photograph: Mehrom

Of particular concern is the statement by the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) on 16 June 2012 that some 728 Rohingya have been detained in Bangladesh and that all but 13 have already been deported to Myanmar.

APRRN believes that those fleeing from Rakhine state should be afforded safe haven in Bangladesh and in other countries, at least until the current situation on the ground can be more accurately assessed and the safety and protection of returnees can be assured.

APRRN acknowledges that Bangladesh has long been host to a large Rohingya refugee population, including the 29000 refugees living in the two official camps and some 200000 unregistered Rohingya who live in Bangladesh. APRRN therefore urges the authorities in Bangladesh to extend the same humanitarian spirit to those fleeing the current wave of unrest and to continue positive efforts with Myanmar and the international community to find solutions for this particular population and to support the government of Myanmar to build peace in Rakhine state.

APPRN also urges donor and regional governments and international organisations to provide necessary diplomatic and financial support to assist in sharing the asylum burden with Bangladesh.

The discriminatory treatment of Rohingya in Rakhine state, where they are regarded as non-citizens and deprived of most basic rights, has been well documented. In particular, Rohingya who depart the country without authorisation face particularly punitive treatment, including up to five years imprisonment for illegal exit and entry.

READ MORE:  Register the undocumented

The right to seek and enjoy asylum is a fundamental human right enshrined in the both customary international law and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Azmi
Azmi
25 Jun 2012 7.49pm

Rohingyas are not from another country which has created and has been playing a balme game by injustice and non democratic Burmese military regime since 1962.We Rohingyas have our own language and culture you can’t compare by Bengali nation.There are a lot of neighbor countires around the world not only Myanmar is a single country which has become unknown country around the world bcz of non-equal rights and injustice action against to the all ethnic groups including Rohingyas.
I request to the world community, the EU, UN , USA and NGO to bring a 3 parties table talk ( Burmese, Rohingya and Bengali leader ) to solve this long standing issue and ending the blame game forever.