Asia - Pacific

Bangladeshi police arrest 45 suspected Rohingya

Detainees produced before court as 'illegal foreigners', says police officer

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 02.10.2019
Bangladeshi police arrest 45 suspected Rohingya

DHAKA, Bangladesh  

Bangladesh police detained 45 suspected Rohingya from a house in southeastern Chattogram district late on Wednesday, according to local police.

"All of them were young men, aged between 18 and 25, and they didn’t have any documents to confirm that they are residents of Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district," Shamim Sheikh, a police officer in Chattogram city, told Anadolu Agency.

Sheikh said that considering their language and primary documents, police confirmed that they are Rohingya. "They confessed in primary interrogation that they have come from Myanmar's Maungdaw town," he added.

"All of them don't understand our language and are behaving like newcomers," Sheikh said, adding the already stayed Rohingya refugees are lightly familiar with Bangla language.

"We are not sure whether they are fresh Rohingya who entered Bangladesh, but they seem to be new here," he added.

After primary interrogation, the suspected Rohingya have been produced before a local court as "illegal foreigners", the police officer added.

Persecuted people

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

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