Rohingya Refugees Protest Living Conditions on Bashan Char Island

Rohingya refugee relocation housing on Bashan Char Island, Bangladesh. (doc. AA)

Bashan Char Island, MINA – Several thousand Rohingya refugees staged an “uncontrolled” protest against living conditions on the cyclone-prone island, off the coast of Bangladesh, where they were moved from large camps on the mainland, Al Jazeera reported.

Since December, Bangladesh has moved 18,000 of its planned 100,000 refugees to the island of Bhashan Char from Cox’s Bazar region, where some 850,000 people live in squalid and cramped conditions.

Bhashan Char Island is a low-lying mud island that is often inundated by tidal flooding.

Monday’s protest involved up to 4,000 people, police said and coincided with an inspection visit by officials from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

“The Rohingya who were there became unruly when UNHCR representatives landed (on the island) by helicopter today,” said local police chief Alamgir Hossain.

“They broke the glass in the warehouse by throwing stones. They came to the police… Their demand is that they don’t want to stay here,” Hossain said.

Police said the UNHCR delegation was able to meet with a large group of refugees and listen to the issues they raised, which the delegation would then discuss with Bangladeshi authorities.

The delegation is scheduled to visit a Rohingya refugee camp on Tuesday in Cox’s Bazar before returning to Dhaka to meet senior government officials. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)