APPEAL TO ALLOW ROHINGYA REFUGEES TO STAY IN INDIA TILL THE SITUATION IMPROVES IN MYANMAR

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Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dipak Misra,

The Chief Justice of India

Subject: AN APPEAL TO ALLOW ROHINGYA REFUGEES TO STAY IN INDIA TILL THE SITUATION IMPROVES IN MYANMAR

Your Excellency,

The Rohingya community in Myanmar is the most persecuted minority in the present day world. They have been systematically disenfranchised, marginalized, and oppressed in their country. Over past several years successive UN Special Rapporteurs have reported serious human rights violations against this community in Myanmar. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had released a report that detailed widespread and systematic attacks against the Rohingya and reiterated the very likely commission of crimes against humanity. There have been consistent reports of extrajudicial executions, rape and other crimes of sexual violence, torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, mass arrests, and the widespread destruction of Rohingya properties and places of worship. Governments across the globe have condemned the ethnic cleansing, pogrom and genocide taking place in the modern day world. This Rohingya community had no choice but to flee from Myanmar and seek asylum in neighbouring and other countries including India.

India is home to nearly 3 lakh refugees from 30 odd countries and includes Buddhist Chakmas from the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, Bhutanese from Nepal, Muslim Rohingyas from Myanmar, Tibetans from China, Sri Lankan Tamils, Afghanistan etc.  Apart from refugees from neighbouring countries, India houses refugees from rich western countries like the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia. According to the latest available data which was presented by Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr. Kiren Rijiju in March 2016, a total of  2,89,394 refugees were living in India (as on 31/12/2014) from 28 different countries which also included stateless people. India has over years consistently and wholeheartedly supported the cause of victims from across the world who seek refuge and has set an example of being a leader in humanitarian acts.

Now recently it is announced by Indian Government that Rohingya refugees who are estimated to be 40,000 in number will be identified and deported. This would be a severe blow to the rehabilitation process of a community that has sought asylum in the wake of severe violation of human rights, atrocities and oppression in their country. Indian government is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees and so it is not bound to accept the Rohingya refugees.  The stand of Government regarding Rohingya community was challenged in Supreme Court and the decision is likely to be made on September 18, 2017. However, on humanitarian ground it is desirable that the Rohingya community is not deported back to their country where their life is in peril.

Thus this appeal is being made to allow the Rohingya community that has sought refuge in India and who do not pose a great burden on India to stay in India till the situation in Myanmar becomes conducive and peaceful and they are able to return to their country without any fear and danger to their life and property.

Yours sincerely,

 (Ms. Maria Alam Umar)

Social Activist and Director

Ideal Public Organization (NGO)

Aligarh, UP, India

 

Cc;

1.      Hon'ble Mr. Recep Tayyib Erdogan, President of Turkey

2.      Hon'ble Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR

3.      Hon'ble Mr. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

4.      Hon'ble Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

5.      Hon Mr. Gerry Brownlee, Foreign Minister, New Zealand

7.      Hon Ms. Julie Bishop MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia

8.      Australian High Commissioner, New Delhi, India

9.      New Zealand High Commissioner, New Delhi, India

10.  Mr. Salman Khurshid, Ex-External Affairs Minister of India, Supreme Court Lawyer

11.  Amnesty International

12.  Medicines Sans Frontiers, Lausanne, Geneva, Switzerland

13.  Pax Christi International, Brussels, Belgium

14.  International Peace Research Association, Copenhagen, Denmark

15.  EIRENE, International Christian Service for Peace, Neuwid, Germany

16.  IFOR, Netherlands

17.  Peace Brigades International, London, UK

18.  Centre for Conflict Resolution, South Africa

19.  Canadian Peace Building Coordinating Committee, Ontario, Canada

20.  International Peace Academy, New York, USA

21.  International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Vienna, Austria

22.  International Crisis Group, Brussels, Belgium

23.  Life and Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden

24.  Oxfam, Oxford, UK

25.  International Peace Bureau (IPB), Geneva, Switzerland



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