United Nations urges India not to deport seven Rohingya

Larry Hoffman
October 5, 2018

Earlier on Wednesday, a fresh plea was moved in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting to Myanmar the seven Rohingyas lodged in a detention centre at Silchar in Assam.

CJI Gogoi observed that according to the affidavit submitted by the GOI, the seven individuals in question were found to be illegal immigrants as well as convicts under the Foreigners Act. This is the first deportation of Rohingya immigrants from India to Myanmar. "They were handed over to the authorities of Myanmar at Moreh border post", said senior Assam police officer Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta.

The Indian government says it has evidence there are extremists who pose a threat to the country's security among the Rohingya. "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken", the top court said, accepting the centre's statement that the Rohingya were illegal immigrants and Myanmar had accepted them as citizens.

Salimullah, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, is also the lead petitioner in a 2017 PIL that challenged the Centre's 8 August 2017 order which directed states to identify and deport illegal migrants including Rohingya refugees. The Myanmar government aso issued Certificates of Identity to facilitate travel of these individuals to their hometowns in Rakhine State. In India, many Rohingya have identity cards issued by the U.N.'s refugee agency which it says prevents them from arbitrary arrests, harassment and deportation.

The Rohingyas are a Muslim Indo-Aryan population living mainly along the west coast of Myanmar. Six of them belong to the Keito village in the Faida district of Myanmar whereas Sabir Ahmed belongs to the Burma village, according to sources. They number around 1.3 million out of the 52 million people who live in Myanmar.

The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. "If they are willing to go back to their country, then its fine but they should not be sent under some kind of duress", he said. State governments have been told to identify illegal Rohingya.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the United Nations as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes a year ago to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmarese military. "India doesn't know what happens with Rohingya inside Myanmar".

UN Special Rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, said in a statement, "The Indian Government has an worldwide legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection".

"The Indian Government has an global legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection", United Nations special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, said in a statement.

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