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HRW wants Bangladesh to drop Rohingya relocation plan
The Bangladesh government should immediately drop its plan to shift Rohingya refugees to an ‘uninhabited, undeveloped coastal island’, said New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday.
It said relocating the refugees from Cox’s Bazar to Thengar Char Island will deprive them of their rights to freedom of movement, livelihood, food and education, in ‘violation of Bangladesh’s obligations under international human rights law’.
Since October 2016, nearly 69,000 Rohingyas from Rakhine State in Myanmar have entered Bangladesh to escape attacks by Myanmar security forces, including unlawful killings, sexual violence and wholesale destruction of villages.
“The Bangladesh government is making the ridiculous claim that relocating Rohingya refugees to an island with absolutely no facilities that is deluged at high tide and submerged during the monsoon season will improve their living conditions,” said HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams adding, “This proposal is both cruel and unworkable and should be abandoned.”
The plan to move long-term refugees to Thengar Char was first suggested in 2015, but was shelved after widespread condemnation, said the New York-based Rights Group.