South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Rohingya refugee. Photo: Syful-Islam
Rohingya refugee. Photo: Syful-Islam
 The moment Dhaka gave shelter to Myanmar’s Rohingyas, the Bangladeshi citizens themselves saw no reprieve in their quest for justice, observed the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The rights group alleged that the authorities failed to respond to repeated and serious allegations of secret detentions, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

An HRW report pointed out that the government of Bangladesh denied the abuses instead of holding perpetrators accountable – a state that demonstrated a culture of impunity.

“In domestic rights concerns, scores of Bangladeshis remained victims of enforced disappearances, even as law enforcement authorities continued to target both opposition supporters and militant suspects,” the HRW said in the 28th edition of ‘World Report’ released on Thursday.

It mentioned that civil society groups, including the media, continued to face pressure from both state and non-state actors, while dozens of Bangladeshis were arrested for criticising the government or the political leadership on Facebook.

The group, however, appreciated Bangladesh for hosting over 655,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar although the country does not recognise most of them as refugees.

“Bangladesh deserves credit for not forcibly returning Rohingya refugees, and for doing what it can with strained resources to provide safety for them for the time being,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director.

“However recurring plans to move the refugees to uninhabitable islands or to return them to Burma without key citizenship rights and protections remained a concern,” he added. 


Updated On: Jan 18, 2018