'The camps may turn into “open air detention camps” for the returning refugees'
The Human Rights Watch has claimed that Myanmar is setting up several ‘camps’ for Rohingya to confine repatriated refugees who had fled to Bangladesh.
HRW’s Asia Deputy Director Phil Robertson told Efe news that he feared these camps would turn into “open air detention camps” for the returning refugees, reports IANS.
Buddhist majority Myanmar does not recognise the mainly Muslim Rohingya and brands them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite having lived the country for centuries.
More than 600,000 Rohingya escaped from the Rakhine state to seek refuge in Bangladesh since late August after the Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown targeting the minority following attacks on police posts and an army base by Rohingya insurgents.
Myanmar has agreed to take back Rohingya from Bangladesh after verification process but it is unclear how it would be conducted.
This may prove to be problematic for the Rohingya, who have lost all documents during the military crackdown on their villages.
Naypyitaw had signed an agreement with Dhaka in 1992 to take back Rohingya refugees who had fled to Bangladesh. But most refugees chose to stay back in Bangladesh.
Robertson also warned that Myanmar could be planning to restrict the movement of the Rohingya by keeping them in the camps and denying them access to basic necessities.