UNHCR working in close cooperation with the authorities and taking measures to ensure safety for those most at risk
Citing security reasons, family members of the slain Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah wish to settle in a country other than Bangladesh or Myanmar through the United Nations and other international organizations.
Ten members of Mohib’s family, including minors, family members of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) spokesperson Mohammad Nowkhim, and some other close associates of Mohib made the plea recently.
They requested immediate relocation to a safe shelter from the Rohingya camp first, before being moved to a third country, according to sources at international organizations concerned, including the UN.
Insider sources said the late Rohingya leader’s dear ones and acquaintances were seeking safety and security as they had been receiving death threats.
Human Rights Watch in a statement on Wednesday said at least a dozen activists had come forward to seek protection from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and Bangladesh officials since Mohib Ullah’s killing due to renewed threats from armed groups and other risks of violence.
The environment inside the camps had become increasingly dangerous for Rohingya activists, HRW said, quoting humanitarian workers.
A UNHCR spokesperson on Thursday told Dhaka Tribune that Mohib, other representatives of the ARSPH as well as many prominent members of the Rohingya community had received death threats.
Asked if the UNHCR would arrange for Mohib’s family and associates to be relocated to another country, the spokesperson said that the UN agency was working in close cooperation with the authorities in Bangladesh and taking measures to ensure safety for those most at risk.
Mohib Ullah, chairman of the ARSPH, was shot dead at Lambashia camp No 1 in Ukhiya by unidentified assailants on September 29.
According to his brother, Habib Ullah, he and his brother had gone to the ARSPH office after Isha prayers that night. They were accompanied by 10-12 other people. Soon afterwards, the attackers stormed the place and opened fire on Mohib. He was shot thrice, leaving him dead.
Law enforcers have arrested several suspected persons in this connection and an investigation is underway. However, the gunmen have yet to be apprehended.
Formerly a teacher in Myanmar, the fallen Rohingya leader was popularly known as Master Mohib Ullah among the Rohingya.
Mohib was an outspoken leader of the Rohingya community. He arrived in Bangladesh during the 2016-17 Rohingya exodus from Myanmar. He chaired the ARSPH, which has been facilitating the documentation of human rights abuses faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar in 2016 and 2017.
A staunch advocate of the Rohingyas’ right to return to Myanmar with dignity, safety and security, Mohib had been receiving death threats for some time.
Human rights activist Nur Khan Liton said it would be better if Mohib’s family and associates were shifted elsewhere. “They have just experienced a traumatic incident and are feeling frightened,” he added.
Mokabbir Hossain, secretary of the Security Services Division of the Home Ministry, declined to comment on the matter.