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UNHCR seeking clarification from India over returns of Rohingya

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UNHCR seeking clarification from India over returns of Rohingya

4 January 2019

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, regrets India’s decision to repatriate a group of Rohingya to Myanmar, the second such return in three months.

A family of Rohingya asylum-seekers from Rakhine State, registered with UNHCR in India, was sent back to Myanmar on Thursday, 3 January, after being detained in India’s Assam, where they had been serving a prison term since 2013 for illegal entry into India.

Despite repeated requests, UNHCR did not receive a response from the authorities in India regarding requests for access to individuals in detention to ascertain their circumstances and to assess the voluntariness of their decision to return. This is the second such incident since October 2018, when India returned seven Rohingya to Rakhine State in Myanmar, where conditions are not conducive for return.

UNHCR continues to request access and seek clarification on the circumstances under which the return has taken place. There are an estimated 18,000 Rohingya refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in India, living across different locations.

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