Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Seven Rohingya Deported to Myanmar After SC Upholds Label of 'Illegal Immigrants'

India deports Rohingya Muslims, drawing U.N. ire Indian court allows deportation of 7 Rohingya to Myanmar
Lisa Bryan | 05 October, 2018, 07:12

THE GOVERNMENT Thursday "repatriated" seven Rohingya men, who were jailed in Assam for entering India illegally six years ago, to Myanmar through the Moreh border in Manipur, hours after the Supreme Court refused to interfere in the process. "In parallel, the individuals also requested in 2016 that the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar should issue them relevant travel documents to facilitate their return to their own country", Kumar said.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who took charge as top judge yesterday, asked: "First of all, they have been recognised as Myanmar citizens".

The deportation also comes as the northeastern state of Assam, where the seven men were imprisoned since 2012, ramps up efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants.

Issue direction to officials of prison at Silchar Central jail in Assam and Union Home Ministry to "allow and facilitate the detenues in question as a well as other detenues on other prisons in Assam to approach the UNHCR in New Delhi to determine/ascertain if they are in need of worldwide protection as refugees within its mandate and for grant of refugee identification cards", it said.

The interim plea, seeking urgent measures to stop the proposed deportation of seven Rohingyas, was filed in a pending PIL.

"They (Rohingyas) are Stateless and have been driven out from Myanmar".

"Seven individuals from Rakhine State in Myanmar had been detained in 2012 for violation of the Foreigners Act".


He said that authorities concerned caught them and put them in detention centre following their conviction by a competent court.

"If someone enters the country illegally, we will send them back", said Bharat Bhushan Babu, spokesman for India's Home Affairs Ministry. Some have taken refuge in northeast India bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.

"These are not illegal immigrants but refugees who have migrated due to genocide in their country". "First, all immigration formalities were completed on the Indian side and we met the Myanmarese authorities at the immigration office near no-man's land".

An exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh in 2017 drew the world's attention to Myanmar's human rights abuses against its Muslim minority. "The violence and severe prosecution that had forced the Rohingya to flee Myanmar and seek asylum in India continues till date...", it said.

ASG Tushar Mehta tendered an affidavit and said in court that the Embassy of Myanmar was ready to give Certificate of Identity (COI) to the people.

Human rights group Amnesty International has blamed Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's government for "burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State".

However, this move of the government - which considers Rohingya Muslims illegal immigrants and a threat to national security - has drawn criticism from the United Nations, which said their forcible return could mean a violation of worldwide law.

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