The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar are to push ahead with the repatriation of thousands of Rohingya this week, despite objections by the UN, and against the wishes of the refugees, who spoke of being “terrified” at being sent back. Last week fear gripped the camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh at the news that, without their consent, 4,355 people had been placed on a list of Rohingya approved for return by Myanmar. The first repatriations are due from Thursday, but not everyone who is on the list has been informed and it is unclear how it was compiled. Rohingya refugee Mohammad Ayaj said that his father, Mohammad Shaker, 58, had died of a heart attack last week after suffering days of anxiety and sleeplessness at the prospect of being forcibly sent back to Myanmar. “Minutes before my father collapsed, he said to me, ‘Hide your brothers and sisters and save them from repatriation. Do not return to Myanmar, where you will face the violence again’,” Ayaj told the Observer. More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to Bangladesh after a campaign of violence in Rakhine state in August 2017, described by a recent UN fact-finding mission as… Read full this story
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