According to Bangladesh’s Minister of State for External Affairs Shahri Alam, a ship carrying 1642 refugees is heading to Bhasan Char, an island about 40 km (24 miles) off the coast near Chittagong city.
The Bangladeshi government has spent years building a network of shelters on the island, which currently houses 100,000 people, in Cox’s Bazar, near the Myanmar border.
But human rights groups and refugees themselves have long been Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya. ”
Human Rights Watch described the situation on the island as “bad” because the Rohingya could face a severe lack of medical care. The group also expressed concern that refugees could be denied freedom of movement, sustenance or education. It is also unclear what role – if any – humanitarian agencies will be allowed to have.
Daniel Sullivan, the group’s senior human rights lawyer, said the move was “nothing short of a dangerous public detention in violation of the international human rights obligations of the Rohingya people.”
Bangladesh’s foreign minister said he did not understand why aid agencies were opposed to the move and called the reports of coercion “absolutely baseless”.
“I just can’t find it,” Alam said. “Why are they resisting a better life for them when they have failed miserably in their work?”
“Limited” UN involvement
The government has been building facilities at Bhasan Char for many years to ease the pressure on the overcrowded camps at Cox’s Bazar, home to about one million Rohingya refugees.
Many refugees fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape the violent military offensive in 2017, prompting the International Court of Justice in The Hague to order Myanmar to protect the Rohingya population from genocide. Myanmar denies allegations of genocide, and maintains “clearance operation” by military were anti-terrorism legal measures.
The statement said, “Rohingya refugees should be able to make an independent and informed decision to move to Bhasan Char on the basis of mandatory, accurate and updated information.
“There should be a comprehensive assessment of technical security before moving to Bhasan Char. These independent UN assessments will review the security, potential and sustainability of Bhasan Char as a place for refugees to live, as well as for security and assistance.” Framework tests and services will enable them to reach the island. “
On Thursday, 933 Rohingya refugees left the paper market camps for Chittagong and are expected to make more than 400 trips on Friday, Alam said. Bangladesh Foreign Minister
The two groups are then expected to make a 2.5-hour voyage to Bhasan Char in a naval vessel.
According to Abdullah Al Mamun Chaudhry, director of the Bangladesh Navy, director of the Bhasan Char Island Project, the island can accommodate 100,000 people in 120 shelters.
He said that each shelter could seat 800 to 1000 people and each family would have 12 feet by 14 feet (3.6 m by 4.3 m) units.
Chaudhary further said that in case of any storm, shelters have been set up 14 feet above the ground level and they can withstand winds of 260 kmph (161 mph). There are also two 20-bed hospitals, as well as a reduced community night clinic and medical staff on site and three schools.
“We are ready in all aspects,” Chaudhary said. “We are taking care of food, medical, safety.”
Fear of forcible removal
Bangladesh has said the relocation process would be voluntary, but several rights groups have expressed concern that refugees could be forcibly repatriated.
Human Rights Watch said about a dozen families said their names were on a list of people willing to leave, but they did not return voluntarily. There are reports that some of the refugees on the list have fled for fear of being forced to return.
Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said: “The Bangladeshi government is reaffirming its commitment to the United Nations that no refugees will be relocated to Bhasan Chaur unless humanitarian experts give the green light. Will go “If the government really trusted the island’s habit, they would be transparent and would not carry out a UN technical assessment in a hurry.”
Fortify Rights reported that some Rohingya in the Caucus Bazaar camps had been told by selected Rohingya camp leaders that they could be in the front line to return to Myanmar if they went to Bhasan Char.
Chaudhary said the government had decided to return some of them to Caucus Market because “families have broken up.” He said there were many refugee women on the island who wanted to see their relatives again.