Responding to the news that 18,000 members of the predominantly Muslim Rohingya community have fled fighting in Myanmar to seek safety across the border in Bangladesh, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik, said:
“These people are searching for safety in desperate circumstances. The human rights abuses in Rakhine State have forced them to leave and make it impossible for them to return any time soon. The authorities in Bangladesh must not close the border to those fleeing – they must keep the border open for their safe passage and offer the Rohingya all the necessary assistance they need.”
Amnesty International’s call on the Bangladeshi government comes as the International Organization for Migration has said that 18,000 Rohingya have fled fresh violence in Myanmar into Bangladesh.
A day earlier, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres’ spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said: “Recognizing that Bangladesh has generously hosted refugees from Myanmar for decades, the Secretary-General appeals for the authorities to continue to allow the Rohingya fleeing violence to seek safety in Bangladesh.”
(c) 2017 Amnesty International