World, Asia - Pacific

UN experts call on India to stop Rohingya deportation

India has deported eight Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar in two batches since beginning of 2019

Ahmad Adil   | 03.04.2019
UN experts call on India to stop Rohingya deportation

CHANDIGARH, India

United Nation human rights experts have expressed dismay over forced deportation of Rohingya Muslims by India, according to a statement by UN Human Rights Council.

"We are dismayed by the decision of the Indian Government to continue forced returns of Rohingya to Myanmar, where they face high risk of attacks, reprisals and other forms of persecution because of their ethnic and religious identity," said the statement issued on Tuesday.

India has deported eight Rohingya to Myanmar in two batches since the beginning of 2019.

“The three Rohingyas deported, a father and his children, had been imprisoned since 2013, on charges related to lack of documentation. On 3 January 2019, India separated and forcibly returned five other members of their family to Myanmar,” the statement noted.

The UN rights experts “urged the authorities to stop such forced deportations which are prohibited under international law”.

They also voiced concerns over “the Indian legal and administrative processes for refugee status determination”.

"The deportation of Rohingya to Myanmar speaks to a system of refugee status determination that fails to account for the ongoing, credible reports of ethnic and religious minority persecution in that country," the statement said.

"We also remain concerned with the systemic use of indefinite detention of Rohingya in India, which is indicative of the unacceptable conditions of discrimination and intolerance they face in the country where they have sought refuge," it added.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to the request for comment.

In 2017, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government had told the country’s top court that it considers the Rohingya "a security threat."

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.

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 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.

The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.

In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.

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