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After fleeing ethnic cleansing in their homeland of Arakan, Myanmar, the Muslim Rohingya were never expected to receive a warm welcome from the Islamophobic government in India. However, after anti-Rohingya riots by far-right Hindutva extremists, the government’s response has worsened.
There are currently around 1,200 Rohingya refugees in a camp in Madanpur Khadar, on the border between New Delhi and the state of Uttar Pradesh, most living in substandard and dangerously unhygienic conditions. After Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the government would house some of the refugees in New Delhi, the government has now revoked its plans in response to protests by the extremist Vishwa Hindu Parishad group. Many of the Rohingya had come to Delhi from the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh last year after their refugee camp was burnt to the ground in a suspicious fire. The Union Home Ministry is currently attempting to designate the refugee camp as a “detention centre”, whilst also stating that the Rohingya will be deported back to Myanmar soon.
This comes just after the Indian government has cracked down on Rohingya refugees in the Kiryana Talab camp within the occupied territories of Jammu & Kashmir. This is especially significant in the context of the Indian government’s attempts to force a religious demographic change in the area by moving Hindu settlers to the area.
- Please send a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, demanding that they pressure India into sticking by its commitments to the Rohingya refugees.
- You can also donate to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia to help alleviate some of their suffering https://donations.ihrc.org.uk/Rohingya-Appeal
- Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign, including human rights organisations, pressure groups and NGOs.
- Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation for decades, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases.
- Keep checking the IHRC’s website: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/to see any updates on this campaign or others involving the plight of the Rohingya.
Re. Rohingya refugees in India
Dear Mr Grandi,
I am deeply concerned about the Rohingya refugees in India, who have recently been the victims of a vicious campaign by the Indian government and much of the country’s press. They have been labelled as “terrorists”, primarily due to their Muslim faith. They are now being threatened with mass deportation, despite only recently being promised housing by Hardeep Singh Puri, the Housing and Urban Affairs minister. The rampant Islamophobia in India, could eventually go the same way as it has in the Rohingya’s home country of Myanmar, and is being used as an excuse for India to avoid its responsibilities as laid out in the 1951 Refugee Convention. A commitment that Hardeep Singh Puri even tweeted himself regarding this case, but has since gone entirely against.
It is imperative that the Rohingya, who have faced much physical and mental abuse, are given a safe haven in neighbouring countries such as India and access to the basic essentials of survival. The UNHCR must make clear that this is unnegotiable and that India must house all refugees with conditions that allow them to survive healthily and with dignity, until the political situation is as such that they can return to Arakan.
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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
You can also message them online at: https://www.unhcr.org/contact-form.html