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Bangladesh ships Rohingya refugees to remote island despite outcry

5 December 2020 01:29 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (Reuters), 4 Dec, 2020 – 
Bangladesh naval vessels carried some 1,600 Rohingya refugees towards a remote island in the Bay of Bengal on Friday despite complaints by refugees and humanitarian groups that some were being coerced. Bangladesh says it is only moving refugees who are willing to go to Bhasan Char and it will ease chronic overcrowding in camps that are home to more than 1 million Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority who have fled neighbouring Myanmar.


But refugees and humanitarian workers say some of the Rohingya had been coerced into going to Bhashan Char a flood-prone island that emerged from the sea 20 
years ago.


A naval official said the Rohingya were aboard seven boats, with two more carrying supplies, that set out from the southern port of Chittagong.


Refugees were packed across the decks of the naval vessels on 
plastic chairs. 


“The government is not taking anyone to Bhashan Char forcibly. We maintain this position,” Foreign Minister Abdul Momen told reporters late on Thursday.

 

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