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World Bangladesh ships Rohingya refugees to remote island despite protests

06:55  04 december  2020
06:55  04 december  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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The Bangladesh government is moving to relocate tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a vulnerable island in the Bay of Bengal. A government directive said they would be transferred to Thengar Char before being repatriated to Myanmar. Rights groups have raised strong objections to

Rohingya refugees who are being moved to Bhasan Char gather outside a transit area where they are being temporally housed in Ukhiya, Bangladesh . Bangladesh has begun moving Rohingya families from camps near the Myanmar border to a settlement on a remote island , despite concerns about its

By Ruma Paul

Rohingyas that will be shifted to Bhasan Char island are seen onboard a bus in Chattogram © Reuters/MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN Rohingyas that will be shifted to Bhasan Char island are seen onboard a bus in Chattogram

DHAKA (Reuters) - More than 1,600 Rohingya refugees sailed on Friday from Bangladesh's southern port of Chittagong for the remote island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal, a naval official said.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Rohingyas are seen at the Chittagong Boat Club from where ships will carry Rohingyas to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram © Reuters/MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN Rohingyas are seen at the Chittagong Boat Club from where ships will carry Rohingyas to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram

The south Asian nation says it is only moving refugees who are willing to go and that this will ease chronic overcrowding in camps that are home to more than 1 million Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighbouring Myanmar.

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Some refugees named as willing to go to the island were in hiding on Thursday, amid a heavy security presence at the sprawling camps. Refugees and humanitarian workers said on Thursday some of the thousands of Rohingya being shipped to a remote island had been coerced, despite government

Bangladesh says moving refugees who agree to go to the island will ease chronic overcrowding in its camps which are home to more than 1 million Rohingya , members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighbouring Myanmar. “The authorities should immediately halt relocation of more refugees to

a large ship in the water: Rohingyas board a ship as they are moved to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram, Bangladesh © Reuters/MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN Rohingyas board a ship as they are moved to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram, Bangladesh

But refugees and humanitarian workers say some of the Rohingya had been coerced into going to Bhashan Char a flood-prone island that emerged from the sea 20 years ago.

The naval official said the Rohingya were aboard seven boats, with two more carrying supplies.

Pictures taken from aboard one of the vessels showed refugees lined up on blue plastic chairs under the watch of uniformed sailors.

"The government is not taking anyone to Bhashan Char forcibly. We maintain this position," Foreign Minister Abdul Momen told reporters late on Thursday.

But two Rohingya being relocated told Reuters their names appeared on lists compiled by government-appointed local leaders without their consent, while aid workers said officials used threats and enticements to pressure people into going.

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Rohingya refugees believed to have spent weeks stranded on cramped boats at sea have been sent to a remote , uninhabited island by Bangladesh , while hundreds

Bangladesh plans to shift Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char which means ‘floating island ’ | OpIndia News. Bangladesh establishment has firmed up its decision of relocating Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh from Cox Bazaar to a remote , uninhabited island situated 21 nautical miles

"They have taken us here forcefully," a 31-year-old man told Reuters tearfully by phone as he boarded a bus from the camps near Cox's Bazar. "Three days ago, when I heard that my family is on the list, I ran away from the block, but yesterday I was caught and taken here," he said.

An 18-year-old woman said her husband had put their names on the list thinking it was for food rations. He fled when they were told to go to Bhasan Char, she said, adding that she is also hiding in the camp.

They were among more than 730,000 Rohingya who fled Myanmar in 2017 following a military-led crackdown that the United Nations said was executed with genocidal intent. Myanmar denies genocide and says its forces were targeting Rohingya militants who attacked police posts.

Human Rights Watch said it had interviewed 12 families whose names were on the lists, but had not volunteered to go, while Refugees International said the move was "nothing short of a dangerous mass detention of the Rohingya people in violation of international human rights obligations".

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Bangladesh says transporting refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours from the mainland by boat – will ease chronic overcrowding in its camps at Cox’s Bazar, which are home to more than 1 million Rohingya , members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighboring Myanmar.

Bangladesh says transporting refugees to Bhasan Char – a Bay of Bengal island hours from the mainland by boat – will ease chronic “The relocation of so many Rohingya refugees to a remote island , which is still off limits to everyone including rights groups and journalists without prior

a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water: Rohingyas board a ship as they are moved to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram, Bangladesh © Reuters/MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN Rohingyas board a ship as they are moved to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram, Bangladesh

Two aid workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said refugees had come under pressure from government officials who used threats and offers of cash and other enticements to persuade them to go to the island.

The United Nations said in a statement it had been given "limited information" about the relocations and was not involved in preparations.

a group of people walking in front of a building: Security personnels are seen at the Chittagong Boat Club from where ships will carry Rohingyas to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram © Reuters/MOHAMMAD PONIR HOSSAIN Security personnels are seen at the Chittagong Boat Club from where ships will carry Rohingyas to Bhasan Char island in Chattogram

More than 300 refugees were brought to the island earlier this year after several months at sea in an attempt to flee Bangladesh. Rights groups say they are being held against their will and have complained of human rights violations.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Bangladesh: 1,640 Rohingyas landed on Bhasan Char Island as part of a controversial project .
© Provided by Le Point More than 1,640 Rohingyas, transferred by the Bangladeshi authorities, arrived on Bhasan Island on Friday Char, which human rights organizations deem dangerous, as part of the first phase of a controversial project to relocate 100,000 refugees. The boats docked on Bhasan Char around 2:00 p.m. (08:00 GMT), AFP Shamsud Douza, a refugee official in Bangladesh , accompanying the Rohingyas told .

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