Dhaka, July 19 (IANS) The UN Human Rights Council said on Thursday that the continuing influx of Rohingya refugees in neighbouring Bangladesh showed their human rights were still being violated in Myanmar.
The council said that the refugees, numbering around 722,000 since the exodus began in August 2017, fled due to an “overall menacing environment” in Myanmar, which forced them to leave the country.
“The arrivals of new refugees until today reflects the continuing gravity of the human rights violations in Myanmar,” the UNHRC said in a statement as its fact finding mission on Myanmar, established in March 2017, ended a visit to Bangladesh on Thursday, Efe news reported.
According to data provided by UN agencies, 11,523 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh since January.
UNHCR experts talked to some of the refugees at the Kutupalong camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.
“They referred to the overt threats they faced of violence and persecution, being cut off from their sources of livelihood, and the overall menacing environment that finally compelled them to leave for Bangladesh,” the statement said.
The mission, which visited Bangladesh in October 2017, met high-ranking officials in the Bangladesh government and representatives of NGOs, as well as visiting refugee camps in the southeast of the country.
International pressure forced Myanmar and Bangladesh to sign an agreement on November 23 for the repatriation of the Rohingya minority refugees, according to which the process should have started on January 23.
But it has not yet started, almost seven months later. Last month, the UN signed an agreement with Myanmar to try to pave the way for the rights of Rohingyas to be recognized in the country.