Bangladesh Sends 2000 More Rohingya Refugees to Remote Island
Story Code : 965314
The country's deputy refugee commissioner, Moozzem Hossain, told AFP on Wednesday that 2,000 Rohingya would be transferred to the remote island.
"Navy ships will bring them to the island on Thursday," he said.
The refugees being relocated are among more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled genocide in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
Hossain claimed that all relocations were completely voluntary, but several refugees said they were being forced to move to the flood-prone island.
According to one Rohingya community leader, Bangladeshi authorities told him and his peers to each provide lists of at least five families to be relocated, AFP reported.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) also said that Rohingya leaders were being coerced into persuading camp residents to move to the remote island. HRW urged Dhaka to halt further relocations until it could guarantee freedom of movement for the refugees.
Bangladesh constructed a network of shelters on the island to relocate 850,000 Rohingyas, who are packed in cramped camps in Cox's Bazar, near Myanmar's border.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017.
The Rohingya are widely seen as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and denied the right of citizenship. Bangladesh refuses to grant them citizenship, too.