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India deports Rohingya family ignoring persecution fears

India deports Rohingya family ignoring persecution fears

India deports Rohingya family ignoring persecution fears
January 03
19:51 2019

India has deported a Rohingya Muslim family of five to neighboring Myanmar, despite warnings they could face persecution in their country of origin.

Police said on Thursday that the husband, wife and three children had been arrested and jailed in northeastern Assam state in 2014 for entering India without valid documents.

“The five Rohingya have been handed over to Myanmar officials and they crossed the border,”  media outlet quoted Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Assam's additional director general of police, as saying.

A picture from the India-Myanmar border showed the family members posing with security officials of both countries standing behind them.

The sources said jails in Assam held 20 more Myanmar nationals, all arrested for illegal entry.

“We shall send them back to Myanmar once we get their travel permits from that country,” Mahanta said, adding, “Most of them sneaked into India in search of a livelihood.”

In October, India’s first deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar sparked fears of further repatriations and concerns that those returned would face the risk of abuse at the hands of Myanmar authorities.

The New Delhi government data shows India's Border Security Force arrested 230 Rohingya last year until the end of November.  

India estimates that 40,000 Rohingya live in the country in camps across the country, having arrived over the years after fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar.

India's Hindu nationalist government regards the Rohingya as illegal aliens and a security risk. It has ordered thousands of the community, who live in small settlements and slums, be identified and repatriated.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017. More than 720,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh following the crackdown.

UN investigators want Myanmar's top brass prosecuted for genocide for alleged abuses carried out during the expulsion. 

The campaign against the Rohingya, which the UN has described as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, has seen mass killings, torture, and gang-rape of Muslims as well as arson attacks against their homes and farms in Rakhine.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been languishing in internal displacement camps since a previous wave of violence in 2012. 

The Muslim minority has long been subjected to apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine, with lack of access to healthcare and freedom of movement curtailed.

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Alexander Ionov

Alexander Ionov

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