UN rights expert terms India’s move to deport 7 Rohingya men to Myanmar ‘alarming’

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A UN human rights expert expressed alarm at the Indian Government’s move to deport seven Rohingya men to Myanmar, saying their forcible return could constitute refoulement which violates international law.

A press release issued from Geneva said that the men from Kyauk Daw township in central Rakhine state face deportation on 3 October. They have been held at the Silchar central prison in Cachar District in the State of Assam since 2012 on charges of irregular entry.

Tendayi Achiume, UN special rapporteur on racism, said, “Given the ethnic identity of the men, this is a flagrant denial of their right to protection and could amount to refoulement.”

“The Indian Government has an international legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalized discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection. I am also appalled over the length of their detention. Prolonged detention of this kind is prohibited. It could be considered arbitrary, and could even fall under the category of inhuman and degrading treatment,” the expert further said.

While urging the Indian Government to abide by the international norm of non-refoulement expert added, “The Indian Government has an obligation to refer Rohingyas under their custody to the UN refugee agency so their protection needs can be assessed and proper information provided to them about their rights.”