India on Thursday deported seven Rohingya men to Myanmar, despite U.N. warnings that they faced persecution in a country where the army is accused of genocide against the Muslim minority.
The men, who had been in detention for immigration offenses since 2012, were handed over to Myanmar authorities at a border crossing in India’s northeast state of Manipur.
“Seven Myanmarese nationals have been reported today. They were handed over to the authorities of Myanmar at Moreh border post,” senior Assam police officer Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said.
A U.N. special rapporteur had warned India risked breaking international laws on refoulement – the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they could be harmed.
The Rohingya are despised by many 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 Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has driven 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh. Widespread atrocities associated with the offensive have been documented by international aid organizations.