08/19/2017, 11.23
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Activists call on Delhi government not to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims

The Undersecretary for Internal Affairs has asked States to identify and expel refugees. Thousands of people have fled from Myanmar to avoid persecutions, rapes, summary executions. "India knows what they should do. It would be shameful to abandon them to their destiny. "

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Human rights activists are appealing to the government of India to respect international law and not deport the approximately 40,000 Rohingya Muslims present in their territory. The alarm was launched this week by some humanitarian organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who expressed concern over recent statements by Kiren Rijiju, Undersecretary for Internal Affairs. Speaking to Parliament, he said the government has asked the state authorities to identify and expel Rohingya, the ethnic minority of Bangladesh but mainly resident in Myanmar. If this is the case, complain activists, they will be exposed to serious forms of discrimination and violence.

In recent years, thousands of Rohingya have crossed the frontier seeking shelter in India. For the most part, the community lives in Myanmar, but the authorities do not recognize their citizenship. Its members - about a million exponents - live in refugee camps scattered across parts of the Burmese country, where they have been victims of violence for months. The Rohingya population speaks of summary executions, arbitrary arrests, rapes, homes torched in the context of a government campaign renamed the "clearing operation".

Meenakshi Ganguly, director of South Asia's Human Rights Watch, said: "The Indian authorities must abide by international obligations and not repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar in a forced manner. They must first assess their claim to be considered as refugees in an honest way. "

Even though there are no exact figures, Undersecretary Rijiju said that the number of Muslim migrants has increased in recent years and has talked about some 40,000 people living illegally in the territory of the Union. The largest wave occurred after the military campaign launched in October 2016 as a reaction to an armed attack on rebels against the soldiers.

Raghu Menon, representative of Amnesty International India, said: "Labelling Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers as illegal migrants does not take into account the reasons why they have been forced to flee their homes and the serious risks they would incur if they were expelled in a way forced". "The Indian authorities - he concluded - are well aware of the violations of human rights that Rohingya would face in Myanmar. It would be shameful to abandon them to their destiny. "

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