EU Urges Bangladesh Not to Turn Back Rohingya Muslims

A Rohingya Muslim woman and her son cry after being caught by Border Guard Bangladesh while illegally crossing at a border check point in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.

Brussels, 21 Rabiul Awwal 1438/21 December 2016 (MINA) – The European Union on Tuesday said it recognises long-standing solidarity of Bangladesh with those fleeing violence in Myanmar and urges Bangladesh not to deport them or turn them back.

The EU urged Bangladesh to provide assistance and protection for people fleeing violence until the situation stabilises and their safe return can be ensured, thus contributing to the stability of the region, KUNA reported.

The EU noted in a press release Tuesday night that “there was a full and frank exchange in a constructive spirit on a number of matters of common interest.”

The statement followed the EU-Bangladesh biennial meeting on Good Governance and Human Rights in the framework of the EU-Bangladesh Cooperation Agreement.

Topics discussed included the rule of law, human rights, the rights of minorities, freedom of expression and of the media, the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

Moreover, the EU expressed “concerns on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the death penalty, freedom of association and freedom of expression, and overall on shrinking space for civil society” in Bangladesh.

They are branded as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh by Myanmar’s majority Buddhist population despite their long roots in the country, where they face apartheid-like restrictions on movement and are denied citizenship.

But the Bangladeshi government also refuses to register the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living on its side of the border.  (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)