Alert: Rohingya – Demand European Commission to safeguard the rights of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Reuters-file-photo

The coup in Myanmar takes its toll on Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Background

Action required

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Recipient email addresses

Background

The military coup staged on the 1st of February 2021 has worsened the Rohingya refugees’ situation in Bangladesh significantly. Myanmar’s military ruled the country for fifty years until 2011 has been responsible for committing the genocide and all the atrocities against Rohingya. Further, a repatriation process supported by the United Nations has been stalled due to the military coup. Rohingyas’ fear that Bangladeshi government will instead forcefully displace the refugees from Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal has been realised.

Frustrated with the stall of the repatriation process due to the military coup in Myanmar, the Bangladeshi government has increased its effort to sending Rohingya refugees to the Bhasan Char Island. Around 4000 refugees coerced into moving to the remote island since December. The Bangladeshi officials are planning to send as many as 100.000 Rohingya to the island in total. The island 21 miles from the mainland had been uninhabited previously. The island surfaced 20 years ago and was regularly submerged by monsoon rains. The Bangladeshi Navy has built flood protection barriers to prevent flooding, but humanitarian groups fear that a strong storm may overcome the barriers and perish the refugees residing on the island. Most importantly, the refugees were not given an option to choose about the move.

Action required

  1. Write to Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission, to raise the matter with the European leaders to take a common stance against the forced displacement of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
  2.  Forward any responses you receive to us on info@ihrc.org so we can develop this campaign further.
  3. Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign.
  4. Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation existing for decades, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases. 

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[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

For the attention of Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN.

Dear Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN,

President of the European Commission

The military coup staged on the 1st of February 2021, has worsened the Rohingya refugees’ situation in Bangladesh significantly. Myanmar’s military ruled the country for fifty years until 2011 has been responsible for committing the genocide and all the atrocities against Rohingya. Further, a repatriation process supported by the United Nations has been stalled due to the military coup. Rohingyas’ fear that Bangladeshi government will instead forcefully displace the refugees from Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal has been realised.

Frustrated with the stall of the repatriation process due to the military coup in Myanmar, the Bangladeshi government has increased its effort to sending Rohingya refugees to the Bhasan Char Island. Around 4000 refugees coerced into moving to the remote island since December. The Bangladeshi officials are planning to send as many as 100.000 Rohingya to the island in total. The island 21 miles from the mainland had been uninhabited previously. The island surfaced 20 years ago and was regularly submerged by monsoon rains. The Bangladeshi Navy has built flood protection barriers to prevent flooding. Still, humanitarian groups fear that a strong storm may overcome the barriers and perish the refugees residing on the island. Most importantly, the refugees were not given an option to choose about the move.

As you may be aware, refugees are protected from forceful displacement under international humanitarian law. Bangladesh’s actions are a clear violation of the law, thus requiring political and economic interference to safeguard the rights of the Rohingya refugees before a natural catastrophe may lead to irreparable losses.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

Your name

Recipient Addresses

Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission

ec-president-vdl@ec.europa.eu