Supreme Court refuses to stop deportation of 7 Rohingya Muslims

05 October, 2018, 07:13 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Rohingya deportation Myanmar India

The seven Rohingya men to be deported sit as Indian and Myanmar security officials exchange documents before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, Oct. 4, 2018.

The seven illegal refugees were reportedly confined in a detention prison since 2012 in Cachar district of Silchar, Assam.

The Rohingya approached the Supreme Court after India's junior home affairs minister, Kiren Rijiju, told parliament past year that state governments had been asked to identify and deport people who entered the country illegally, including Rohingya.

Defence attorney Bhushan said the government should treat the Rohingya as refugees and not as illegal migrants and have a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees visit and talk to them so that they were not deported under duress.

"This decision sets a unsafe precedent for all asylum seekers and refugees in India", said Aakar Patel, an official of the group. An estimation of 40,000 Rohingya's has been living in India as illegal immigrants over the period of years, as reported by The New York Times. The United Nations has termed the repression "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide".

About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal campaign of violence by Myanmar's military. The court should direct sending United Nations high commissioner or his representatives to talk to these seven Rohingya. "I'm not bothered if they are Rohingya or Muslim or Hindu or Christian".

"We are so anxious", she said, declining to be named for fear of reprisals.

The men are from Kyauk Daw township in central Rakhine.


The UN had voiced concern that returning the men ignored the danger they faced in Myanmar, where for decades the Rohingya have been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.

"Even the country of their origin has accepted them as its citizens", Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said, adding that they would not like to interfere with the government's decision.

The Indian ministry of external affairs (MEA) in a statement on Thursday said that the decision was taken upon reconfirming their "willingness" to be repatriated.

In the petitioners's plea, Bhushan cited media reports on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking all states to identify Rohingya in their territory so that they can be deported.

Bhushan said that Myanmar had earlier refused to accept these Rohingya as its citizens.

The interim plea, seeking urgent measures to stop the proposed deportation of seven Rohingyas, was filed in a pending PIL.

The confirmation of the Myanmarese citizenship of the illegal immigrants came after the government of the neighbouring country verified their addresses in Rakhine State and all of them were given travel documents by Myanmar. The state has a long border with Bangladesh and huge migration flows which many say threatens Assamese jobs and culture. Many, especially Muslims who were left off the list, fear it could lead to detentions and deportations.

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