News / Asia

Rights Group Urges Bangladesh to Protect Rohingya Refugees

A member of Border Guards of Bangladesh comforts a Rohingya from Burma who was arrested while trying to get into Bangladesh, in Teknaf, June 18, 2012.
A member of Border Guards of Bangladesh comforts a Rohingya from Burma who was arrested while trying to get into Bangladesh, in Teknaf, June 18, 2012.
VOA News
Human Rights Watch says Bangladesh's restriction on international aid groups is contributing to a worsening humanitarian emergency for ethnic Rohingya Muslims fleeing sectarian violence in Burma.

Bangladesh last month ordered three charity groups to stop providing assistance to Rohingya because it said they were encouraging more refugees to cross the border.

Cox's Bazaar, BangladeshCox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
x
Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger, and Muslim Aid were providing water, healthcare, sanitation, and other basic assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazaar district.

In a statement Thursday, Human Rights Watch accused Bangladesh of trying to make conditions for its estimated 200,000 Rohingya refugees "so awful that people fleeing human rights abuses in neighboring Burma will stay home."

The group said Rohingya taking refuge in Bangladesh are subject to "squalid and overcrowded" conditions in both official and makeshift refugee camps. It said the camps are running short on food and clean water and conditions "are among the worst in the world."

Bangladesh has officially denied forcing Rohingya to return to Burma. But senior Bangladeshi border guards reportedly told Human Rights Watch they have pushed back as many as 1,300 Rohingya trying to flee Burma since mid-June.

Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry was not available to comment on the matter.

Rohingya are fleeing violence that broke out in Burma in late May, when long-simmering sectarian tensions erupted into violence after three Muslims were accused of raping and murdering a young Buddhist woman.

Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say Burmese security forces carried out a campaign of violence and mass arrests against the Rohingya in the aftermath of the unrest.

Burma's government, which has a long history of violence against ethnic minorities, has denied the accusations, saying its security forces acted with restraint in dealing with the Rohingya.

Burmese President Thein Sein said earlier this month in an interview with VOA that his government plans to open schools to improve the education of the minority group, saying education plays an important part in helping different communities co-exist.

The Burmese government refuses to recognize the country's estimated 800,000 Rohingya Muslims as an ethnic group and denies them citizenship. Many Burmese consider the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid