Dozens of Rohingya flee India for Bangladesh: officials

Members of a Muslim Rohingya family sit as they pose for a photograph with Indian and Myanmar security officials before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, January 3, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Dozens of Rohingya flee India for Bangladesh: officials

  • Bangladesh border officials and police said dozens of Rohingya had been detained crossing from India in the past week

DHAKA: Dozens of Rohingya Muslims have crossed the border into Bangladesh from India in recent days, officials said Tuesday, as New Delhi faces censure for deporting the persecuted minority to Myanmar.
Last week India handed a Rohingya family of five to Myanmar authorities, despite the army there being accused of genocide against the stateless group.
The forced return — the second in recent months — was criticized by the United Nations and rights groups who accused India of disregarding international law and sending the Rohingya to danger.
India, which is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, arrested 230 Rohingya in 2018 — the most in years as Hindu hard-liners called for the displaced Muslims to be deported en masse.
Bangladesh border officials and police said dozens of Rohingya had been detained crossing from India in the past week. They were sent to refugee camps in the country’s south, where a million of the displaced Muslims live in hardship.
The round-ups in India, and fear of deportation to Myanmar, had fueled the recent exodus, Bangladesh officials said.
“They told us they panicked after India started detaining Rohingya refugees and deporting them to Myanmar,” said Shahjahan Kabir, a police chief in the eastern Bangladeshi border town of Brahmanpara.
He told AFP that 17 Rohingya were detained last Thursday after crossing into Bangladesh, followed by 31 at a different border point. Most had been living in India for up to six years, Kabir added.
In Cox’s Bazar, a border district where some 720,000 Rohingya have sought refuge from a Myanmar army crackdown in August 2017, local officials said at least 57 had arrived in recent days.
“They have come from places like Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir,” said Rezaul Karim, government administrator of the giant Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Hyderabad is a major city in southern India and Jammu and Kashmir the only Muslim-majority territory under Indian control.
For decades the Rohingya have faced persecution and pogroms in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them “Bengali” illegal immigrants.
They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a brutal Myanmar army offensive in August 2017 that UN investigators described as genocidal in intent.
Amnesty International, among other rights groups, has blasted India for forcibly repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar when persecution in Rakhine is ongoing.
Dozens of Rohingya were also deported from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh at the weekend, reported the London-based Middle East Eye website.
Indian officials say around 40,000 Rohingya are living in India. The United Nations refugee agency says around 18,000 Rohingya are registered with the UNHCR.


UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan subjected to abuse

Updated 26 May 2019
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UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan subjected to abuse

  • The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says it interviewed 13 detainees from a group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban
  • They were mainly members of the Afghan forces but also civilians and government officials captured by the Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan: The UN says Taliban captives in Afghanistan have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says it interviewed 13 detainees from a group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban. They were mainly members of the Afghan forces but also civilians and government officials captured by the Taliban.
The group was freed on April 25 when Afghan troops raided a Taliban-run detention facility in the Khas Uruzgan district in southern Uruzgan province.
The UNAMA statement, released on Sunday, says most of the captives were held since 2018, with three since 2016. It says they were kept in poor conditions and subjected to forced labor. The statement cites the detainees as saying that the Taliban killed some of their captives.