• Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Don’t push boatloads of Rohingya refugees out to sea to die, says HRW to Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees get in a truck following their arrival by a boat in Teknaf on 16 April 2020. (Photo by SUZAUDDIN RUBEL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Aswathy Nair

GLOBAL rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Bangladesh government to allow two boats with Rohingya refugees to come ashore and receive necessary food, water and health care.

According to HRW, there are hundreds of refugees, who may not have had adequate food and water for weeks, stranded on the vessels in the Bay of Bengal.

Recently, sixty Rohingya died on a boat crammed with hundreds of people stranded in the Bay of Bengal for more than two months.

Nearly a million Rohingya live in squalid camps near Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar after fleeing a military offensive in 2017. Thousands try every year to reach other countries on crowded rickety boats.

Bangladeshi foreign minister Abdul Momen recently said that the country would not allow any more Rohingyas as Bangladesh is always asked to take care of the responsibility of other countries.

He added that many Bangladeshis are returning home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so “we have no room to shelter any foreign people or refugees.”

“Bangladesh has shouldered a heavy burden as the result of the Myanmar military’s atrocity crimes, but this is no excuse to push boatloads of refugees out to sea to die,” said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director.

“Concerned governments should call on Bangladesh to bring these two Rohingya boatloads ashore and provide generous financial support for these and other refugees living in overcrowded camps,” Adams added.

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