India should not forcibly return ethnic Rohingya refugees:HRW
New York, August 17 (PTI) India must fulfill its international legal obligations and must not return the Rohingya refugees in Myanmar, where they face persecution, not enough to evaluate their claims as refugees, said an international human rights group .
Human Rights Watch (HRW) quoted Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijijus in Parliament: “The government issued detailed instructions on the deportation of illegal aliens, including the Rohingya,” noting that there were about 40,000 Rohingyas living illegally in India.
“India has a long history of supporting vulnerable people fleeing to neighboring countries, including Sri Lanka, Afghans and Tibetans,” said HRWs director in South Asia Meenakshi Ganguly.
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority throughout West Myanmar.
“The Indian authorities must comply with India’s international legal obligations and not forcefully return all Rohingyas in Burma without first evaluating their claims as refugees,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also expressed concern over India’s plans to expel the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, stressing that they should not be returned to countries in which they fear persecution once registered.
Ganguly said that without the will or ability to evaluate asylum applications, the Indian government should stop all plans to expel the Rohingya and the registry in order to obtain health care and education and find work.
“Most Rohingyas were forced to flee from flagrant abuses, and India should show leadership in protecting the besieged community and urging the Burmese government to end the repression and atrocities that make these people go, He added.
HRW said that about 16,500 rohingyas living in India are registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), as the government claims that tens of thousands of people are not saved.
The group said that Rijiju’s statement does not accurately reflect the obligations of the Indians under international refugee law.
While India is not a party to the 1951 Convention or its 1967 Protocol, it continues to be bound by customary international law not to return a refugee to a place where there is a serious risk of pursuing or endangering his or her life or freedom . He told me.
The Rohingya live mainly in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.
HRW said it had said that serious and systematic violations against the Rohingya in ethnic Burma had been widely documented.