Rohingya Protest As UN Officials Visit Bangladesh Refugee Island

Rohingya Protest As UN Officials Visit Bangladesh Refugee Island

Violence was reported as police clashed with demonstrators unhappy about living on Bhashan Char Island.

Andrew H. Sweet
Andrew H. Sweet
  • A protest by hundreds of Rohingya turned violent as a delegation of high-ranking UNHCR officials visited a remote and low-lying island where Bangladesh is housing more than 18,000 stateless refugees from Myanmar.
  • Police said that between 500 and 600 people took part in the protest, in which refugees vented anger about their living conditions and being confined to the offshore complex, which the government built specially for the Rohingya.
  • The UNHCR officials had talks with the Rohingya refugees. They left the island for Cox’s Bazar, the southeastern district, where around 1 million Rohingya Muslim refugees are sheltering after fleeing from violence and persecution next door in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
  • Since last December, Bangladeshi authorities have been relocating large batches of refugees to Bhashan Char from Cox’s Bazar, claiming that Rohingya are doing so voluntarily, and this is needed to ease overcrowding and reduce crime in the congested and squalid camps on the mainland.

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