The forcible deportation of Rohingya refugees is scheduled to begin this week. Everything about this scheme is nothing but a continuation of the persecution & genocide of the Rohingya people. They are still crossing the border with the Burmese army & vigilante death squads behind them hunting them down like animals & now the Burmese genocidaires & Bangladeshi army want to force them back to concentration camps they haven’t finished building.
The estimates of Rohingya refugees just from this genocidal offensive are between 655,000 & 800,000 all living in makeshift camps near the squalid official camps registered with the UNHCR. Four Rohingya elders told Reuters they were among 70 camp leaders called together by Bangladeshi army officials & told to prepare lists of families from their camps for deportation. This is to give a semblance of democratic decision-making to an entirely arbitrary barbarism. In such conditions where most people have no papers, they’re likely to just pick people up randomly & transport them like livestock back to the killing fields of Burma.
The Burmese genocidaires & Bangladeshi government of Sheikh Hasina are providing no transparency to the process at all because it will be handled as ruthlessly as they handled the refugees. Keep in mind that even before this offensive, the Hasina government was making plans to deport thousands of Rohingya refugees to an uninhabitable island flooded out most of the year. The UN, which has anyway been entirely useless throughout the genocide, has been refused a role in the process of forced deportation & media & humanitarian aid groups will still be barred from Arakan state. Nothing good can come of this because it is a continuation of genocide.
The Rohingya refugees know better than anyone what is being planned for them, just how dangerous this forced repatriation plan is, & many are protesting it in the camps. We cannot stand by & allow them to be treated like livestock. There should be rallies & vociferous campaigns on social media to demand asylum for the refugees with full refugee rights in whichever country they choose for refuge.
Photo is little kids at refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar. It’s their lives & futures that are at stake.
(Photo by AJ Ghani/FRC)