As of March 9, 2021 India has detained more than 150 stateless Rohingya refugees in the city of Jammu in Kashmir, India. India is calling this crackdown a “verification exercise” reminiscent of the brutal verification exercises carried out against the Rohingya by successive government regimes in Myanmar. Indian authorities are planning on forcibly sending these detained Rohingya back to Myanmar.
“This move by Indian authorities to send stateless victims of genocide back to the perpetrators of that genocide is outrageous and unacceptable,” said Tun Khin, President of BROUK. “The international community must urgently act to protect these Rohingya refugees from this violation of their most basic human right, the right to life.”
India will be returning Rohingya to a situation of extreme danger that could potentially put their lives at risk. Now with the Myanmar coup ongoing, 600,000 Rohingya people in Arakan State are facing an ongoing genocide and are incredibly vulnerable to more violence. Because of the decades of dehumanization, we don’t have the protection that comes with widespread public support and protests from the Burmese population. Widespread violence against the Rohingya by the military could occur at any time.
“We have seen ongoing genocide against Rohingya in Arakan State,” said Tun Khin. “How can they send these people back to the open prison they will face in Myanmar?”
Both the military and civilian government in Myanmar have proven that they are willing to weaponise violence against the Rohingya to generate nationalist political support throughout the country, demonstrating a complete disregard for Rohingya humanity as they are used as political pawns. Now the same thing is happening in India. These threats of deportation are politically motivated as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tries to whip up nationalist sentiment against the Rohingya. The BJP has promised to deport Rohingya if they win the state elections in West Bengal.
“The tragedy is that wherever we turn people are exploiting our vulnerability,” said Tun Khin. “The international community must stand with our shared principles of human rights, and leverage their influence to stop this senseless endangerment of Rohingya who are only trying to find some safe corner of the world to live.”
- We call on India to immediately release these detained refugees and halt any plans for returning them to Myanmar where their lives are at risk.
- We call on the international community to immediately put pressure on India to honour its human rights obligations to protect Rohingya refugees.
- Rohingya are vulnerable and they could be attacked at any time in this climate of instability. We call on the international community to immediately use all of their leverage to protect vulnerable Rohingya in Arakan State.
- We call on ASEAN to immediately act to address the root causes of this regional problem: the human rights abuses and unending impunity for the military in Myanmar.
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 (0)7888714866.