Bangladesh and Myanmar authorities must immediately halt plans to send Rohingya refugees back to Rakhine State, Amnesty International said today.
A first wave of organized returns could begin as soon as 15 November, following the announcement of a bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar last month which falls short of international obligations.
“This is a reckless move which puts lives at risk,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia.
“These women, men and children would be sent back into the Myanmar military’s grasp with no protection guarantees, to live alongside those who torched their homes and whose bullets they fled.”
High risk of forced returns
On 30 October, representatives of the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments announced they had agreed to start repatriation of some of the more than 720,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 2017.