The plea by Mohammad Salimullah has sought an urgent intervention by the apex court since those detained in Jammu could at any time be deported to Myanmar from where they fled because of persecution .The Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver its order on a plea seeking the release of at least 150 Rohingya refugees detained in a Jammu sub-jail and stalling their deportation.The plea has sought an urgent intervention by the apex court since those detained in Jammu could at any time be deported to Myanmar from where they fled because of persecution.
A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian reserved its order on the plea on March 26.
The Centre on March 26 opposed the plea by Mohammad Salimullah while emphasising that India cannot become “the international capital of illegal immigrants”.
The government called the Rohingya “absolutely illegal immigrants” who posed “serious threats to the national security” and also contended that the right to settle in India could not be asserted by illegal immigrants under the garb of the Constitution’s Article 21, which guarantees the right to life and liberty.
On March 6, on the instructions of the Union ministry of home affairs, the Jammu & Kashmir administration started a verification drive of the Rohingya, and moved some of them to a holding centre, pending their potential deportation.
There are close to 7,000 Rohingya refugees in Jammu & Kashmir, numbers that have increased since the late 2000s when they first arrived in the region after escaping from Myanmar, where they were facing religious persecution. India has previously deported Rohingya refugees.
Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on March 26 submitted that a similar application to stop the deportation of Rohingya from Assam was dismissed by the top court in 2018 and that the present application must meet the same fate.
In a recent move, Jammu and Kashmir Police started moving Rohingya refugees to holding centres prior to their deportation to Myanmar. It is believed to be a part of the larger all-India exercise which will finally culminate with their deportation to the country of their origin. Many of the refugees have been living in India since 2008, when they fled their home country following a brutal outbreak of violence at the hands of the Myanmar military.
In 2012 and then 2017, the numbers of Rohingya in India grew again after further campaigns of violence. Most ended up in camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, but tens of thousands have also sought safety in India over the past decade, where they have set up established communities.
The mass detentions, which began in Jammu, are part of a wider nationwide crackdown against Rohingyas, who number about 40,000 in India. Many hold registered United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee ID cards, which offer protection from arbitrary detention. They were also provided identity documents, ration cards and settled on the periphery of Jammu city surrounding the military garrison at Sunjuwan.
Surprisingly, in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), they were not allowed to settle down in Kashmir despite religious affinity and the fact that they were also being supported financially by many Kashmiri philanthropic organisations who were working towards their rehabilitation in Jammu. Along, with successive Governments, even these organisations never thought of taking them to Kashmir where it would have been much easier to look after them logistically. The growing dissent in Jammu to these illegal settlers received no attention of the successive State Governments and their numbers continued to increase exponentially.
The growing dissent in Jammu to these illegal settlers received no attention from successive State Governments and their influx to the region grew and their population increased over the years. In the end, it was the Narendra Modi Government with began the process of putting an end to the inflow of Rohingyas into the country. It took a firm view on their deportation and its efforts in this direction included talks between Prime Minister Modi and Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto ruler of Myanmar. (She has now been replaced by the military regime).
More Rohingyas who are willing to go to Bhashan Char will be relocated soon, project director of Bhashan Char project saysRohingyas who now live in Bhashan Char want to see a peaceful environment in Myanmar with the restoration of their basic rights for their early return despite what they say having a far better place than the congested camps in Cox’s Bazar.
“We’re living here [Bhashan Char] happily and peacefully. We’re very happy with the facilities we’ve got here. But we want to return to Myanmar,” Fayez, a 28-year-old Rohingya man, told UNB.
He said he has opened a shop in Bhashan Char that offers tea and snacks and is hopeful of earning a little bit of money through the daily sales.
Fayez is one of the over 7,000 Rohingyas who willingly got shifted to Bhashan Char in search of a better place, including safety and security.
“I’m here with my wife, three children and my mother-in-law,” said the young Rohingya man who entered Bangladesh in 2017 amid military crackdowns in Rakhine State.
He said they are receiving 10 kilograms of rice per head every month apart from potatoes, sugar, edible oil, salt and other essentials.
The numerous challenges associated with the temporary hosting of persecuted Rohingyas from Myanmar have compelled the government of Bangladesh to plan the relocation of 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char, Bangladesh says.
Accordingly, 1,642 Rohingyas were relocated to Bhashan Char on December 4 and the second batch, comprising 1,804 Rohingyas, were transferred from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char on December 29 last year.
Rafikul, another Rohingya man, said: “We’re, in fact, waiting to return to our own place in Myanmar. We seek justice. We want to get back our basic rights what we deserve. We’re ready to return home but we’re living in Bhashan Char happily so far as we spent two months here.”
He said those who are being arrested in Myanmar should be released to restore peace in his homeland as their target is to return to home with all their rights back in place.
Rafikul’s parents and sisters are still in a Cox’s Bazar camp as they want to take more time to decide while the number of interested Rohingyas to come to Bhashan Char is growing.
Rohingyas across the world today silently observed “Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day” commemorating the brutal military campaign on this day back in 2017 that forced some 750,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.
Rohingya villages were burnt, members of the ethnic community were killed and women and girls raped in thousands. Though Rohingyas have their origin in Myanmar from centuries back, they were denied citizenship and other rights including freedom of movement, higher education.
Time and again, Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh and many other regional countries and to the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Commemorating the day in silence and sadness, the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar camps remained within makeshift houses and prayed for those killed and tortured.
“No, there was no gathering of people anywhere in the camps. All the activities in the camps were off. We stayed indoors. Some of us went to the mosques and prayed for those killed,” said Mohammad Noor, leader of a camp at Kutupalong, our Cox’s Bazar correspondent reports.
“Those of us involved with NGOs also did not work. It was almost a total silent day,” said Badrul Islam, another camp leader also known as majhi at Teknaf’s Noapara.
“We still didn’t get our rights and all Rohingyas and other ethnicities in Myanmar continuously face this threat. It’s because the UN still did not declare the crimes as genocide,” said a joint statement of several Rohingya organisations.
The organisations include Rohingya Students Union, Rohingya Students Network, Rohingya Youth for Legal Action, Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace & Human Rights, Rohingya Youth Federation, Rohingya Community Development Program, Education For Rohingya Generation and Rohingya Women For Justice and Peace.
They demanded that the UN declare August 25 as a genocide day for Rohingyas.
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) said the world must not forget the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya people.
“This is a day when Rohingyas everywhere remember the genocide and the worst crimes committed against us in our history,” said Tun Khin, president of BROUK, in a statement.
“But just because the headlines have become fewer today, it does not mean that the Rohingya people are no longer suffering. Make no mistake – the genocide is ongoing, and Myanmar’s leaders are still intent on erasing the Rohingya as a people.”
For the 600,000 Rohingya, who remain in Rakhine today, life continues to resemble an open-air prison, he said.
It was, by all accounts, one of the most horrific Genocides of the 21st Century so far: more than 30,000 people thrown into fires, including children; almost 20,000 people brutally raped and hundreds of villages torched.
The 2017 bloodbath that decimated the ethnic Rohingya population living in Myanmar’s Rakhine state killed almost 25,000 people and was branded “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the United Nations. The UK’s then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it “one of the most shocking humanitarian disasters of our time”.
Despite this, Facebook – which was used for a major propaganda campaign to incite the violence – has refused to hand over information to a UN group established to collect evidence of the crimes.
The head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar, Nicholas Koumjian, told Reuters that the social media giant had vowed to work with investigators but that it is now withholding material which is “highly relevant and probative of serious international crimes”. His admission came less than a week after Facebook also refused a request for data made by the Gambia, which has filed a lawsuit against Myanmar with the International Court of Justice (ICJ), formally accusing the country of genocide.
Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), accused the company of “hiding behind legal acrobatics” and said Facebook is a platform used in Myanmar “to spread hatred and abuse that has fuelled the genocide”.
“This is a crucial time when momentum around international justice for crimes against the Rohingya is finally building,” he added. “The evidence Facebook sits on could be crucial to support the many ongoing cases against Myanmar’s military.”
In 2018, Facebook commissioned a report that concluded it had not done enough to prevent the platform from being used “to foment division and incite offline violence”.
The company urgently needed to reform the way it operates in Myanmar and also to its human rights policy, it found.
Almost three years ago, Myanmar’s soldiers targeted, killed, and raped Rohingya and burned their villages, as the United Nations, Refugees International, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the U.S. State Department itself, and many others have documented. Nearly 800,000 Rohingya refugees fled the genocidal violence. Now, the roughly 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar face the ongoing risk of genocide. However, the United States has yet to make a determination and publicly declare that these crimes are genocide.
IT’S TIME TO ACT
We’re calling on the U.S. State Department to make a determination and publicly declare that genocide and crimes against humanity were committed against the Rohingya.
SIGN THE PETITION
Submit the form on this page. Scroll down for the petition draft that will be sent to U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo.
The rise and network of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which operates on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, is seen by its observers as a reflection of its terrorist activities.
According to a report in German news agency DW, published on 13 February, the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar area are experiencing an increase in drug and other criminal activities, with the influx of outside groups.
There are media reports that extremist groups are trying to take over the camps.
In January, there were reports that about 40 Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar camp were being trained by the Bangladesh-based Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The JMB, officially recognized as a terrorist group in Bangladesh, carried out a 2016 raid on a Holey Artisan coffee shop near the diplomatic district of Dhaka, killing 22 people. Most of the dead were foreigners.
The JMB was responsible for training 40 Rohingya, with a country from the Gulf and Malaysia providing $ 117,000, according to DW.
According to the report, Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was among those behind the training, and the Indian government has alerted Bangladeshi government officials and border security officials.
Siegfried O. Wolf, an analyst at the South Asia Democratic Forum, a Belgian-based group based in Brussels, has confirmed the possible involvement of ISI.
He said the ISI’s main goal was to destabilize some countries in the region, with Afghanistan and India at the top.
Wolf says it would be better for Pakistan to choose its cross-border terrorism as a third country, as the international community is watching Kashmir.
As a result, the Rohingya in the camps have become a target for terrorist groups.
A Rohingya rights body on Tuesday disagreed with an “underreported” report of Myanmar government on the number of killed Muslims in a brutal military crackdown on a Rohingya village in 2017.
Strongly rejecting a recent government report on the massacre at the Gu Dar Pyin village in Rakhine state, home to hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which recorded a total of “19 terrorists” were killed in the operation, the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights claimed the operation was ended with the killing of nearly 250 civilians.
The watchdog said it has been “monitoring, collecting and compiling data sourced directly from the families of victims and survivors in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh.”
“The actual number of civilian deaths stands at 243,” and the number of injured is 18, it added.
The statement came days after Myanmar military and a government sanctioned inquiry commission proclaimed that a total of 19 people were killed, whom they called “terrorist” in a crackdown on Aug. 27-28, 2017 that led to the killing of thousands of Rohingya and forced nearly 1 million to flee their homeland and take refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.
The investigation report by the Myanmar government and the country’s military is “grossly underreported,” according to the rights body.
Following the brutal crackdown, Myanmar is facing genocide charges in several international courts as a UN fact-finding body called it a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing and slow-burning genocide.”
In a July 2020 report, the Human Rights Watch also said the massive crackdown on the village — in which “hundreds of heavily armed soldiers and police” took part — killed an estimated 300 to 400 Rohingya civilians.
“The soldiers abducted women and girls from the village and gang raped them at a nearby military compound. Soldiers piled the bodies in at least five mass graves before burning their faces off with acid,” the global rights watchdog added, citing the UN-backed Fact-Finding Mission’s report.
This initiative will initially focus on displaced populations in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, and the Rohingyas response in Bangladesh.
The United Kingdom (UK) has taken initiatives to double the impact of British people’s donations and ensure that UK charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need especially the global displaced population including Rohingyas.
The UK government will be matching the first £5 million ($6,249,375) of public donations to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (a coalition of 14 UK charities) coronavirus appeal to help the more vulnerable countries and communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a message sent by British High Commission in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Funds raised by this appeal will initially focus on displaced populations in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, and the Rohingya influx response in Bangladesh, it said.
The Disaster Emergency Committee will use donations from the British public and UK aid to tackle coronavirus in refugee camps and save lives in developing countries.
The fund will be used by providing frontline doctors and aid workers with equipment and supplies to care for the vulnerable and sick, ensuring families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children, and giving families clean water and soap, as well as information about the dangers of the disease.
The announcement takes the total amount of UK aid pledged to end the pandemic globally to £769 million ($962,022,845).
International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said they are matching generous donations from the British people to the emergency appeal pound for pound, meaning the money will go twice as far in helping to protect millions of the world’s most vulnerable people from the deadly effects of coronavirus.
While the world has been in lockdown as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the media focused on the economic and social effects of the pandemic, the Rohingya continue suffering under a ruthless regime in their homeland, Myanmar, and in cramped refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The coronavirus simply added to their existing misery. Even the risky prospect of attempting to escape on treacherous rough seas in search of a better life is no longer an option.
The coronavirus simply added to their existing misery. Even the risky prospect of attempting to escape on treacherous rough seas in search of a better life is no longer an option.
In a statement to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Michelle Bachelet said: “The Rohingya refugee crisis has effectively become protracted, with no solution in sight.”
The human rights situation the Rohingya are facing in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has not improved, and the conditions required for their safe, dignified and sustainable return home from Bangladesh are not in place, she added. In addition, restrictions placed on humanitarian access and freedom of movement as a result of the pandemic have exacerbated the situation.
Hundreds of people have attempted to escape to other nations in rickety boats, only to be turned away by authorities in destination countries out of fear that the refugees might spread the coronavirus, leaving them stranded at sea for months.
Also Read This: Bangladesh claims COVID-19 outbreak contained in Rohingya camps
In the squalid refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, meanwhile, the threat posed by the virus is increased by the unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions. Social distancing is almost impossible. Families live at close quarters in flimsy bamboo shacks. They have to use communal toilets and water facilities that are not always clean or available. Even the most basic items, such as soap, are scarce.
In other words, the Rohingya are doomed wherever they go.
While the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is working in the camps to protect people from COVID-19 and treat the infected, an internet ban imposed by the Bangladeshi government “for security reasons” has added to the distress of refugees. It has left them cut off from the outside world with no access to news or reliable information about the pandemic. As a result, rumors spread quickly.
The rising number of confirmed cases is putting growing pressure on the UN refugee agency’s ability to provide enough equipment and isolation facilities, medication, food and water, and to conduct medical tests. It is running out of funding and human resources.