With seven Rohingya Muslims on the verge of deporting to their home country Myanmar Thursday, a UN human rights expert voiced concern over India's plan, saying their forcible return could constitute refoulement which violates international law.
The migrants had been in an Indian jail on charges of illegally entering India and are due to be dropped at Moreh border where they will be handed over to Myanmar authority.
"The Indian Govt has an obligation to refer Rohingyas under their custody to the UN refugee agency so their protection needs can be assessed and proper information provided to them about their rights," United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures said in a statement.
A UN human rights expert has expressed alarm at the Indian Government’s plan to deport seven Rohingya men to Myanmar, saying their forcible return could constitute refoulement which violates international law: United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2018
Early in the day, a fresh plea was moved in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting seven Rohingyas to Mynmar. A three-judge-bench, comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph will decide whether there is a need of urgent hearing in this issue after perusing the application.
Justice Gogoi, who was sworn in as the 46th CJI of India, earlier made it clear that the Supreme Court will not allow urgent mentioning of matters till the framing of "parameters" on such cases.
7 Myanmar nationals who were arrested in 2017 are being deported today. Our police team is going to drop them off at Moreh border where they'll be handed over to Myanmar authority: Deepak Kumar, IG (Law and Order) on 7 Rohingyas being deported to Myanmar #Assam pic.twitter.com/jTWHBwRj9u— ANI (@ANI) October 3, 2018
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims, the most persecuted minority in the world, in 2017 fled their homes to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmar Army. As per the latest data, released by the Centre, more than 14,000 Rohingya people, registered with the UN refugee agency UNHCR, currently stay in India.
The Human Rights group earlier blamed Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's government for allegedly "burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State".
While successive waves of Rohingyas have fled into Bangladesh, small numbers have found their way to India and Nepal while a small community has also been established in Pakistan.