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Desperate Rohingya refugees forced into hiding in Bangladesh

Hundreds of the Muslim minority are being forcibly returned to Myanmar

November 25, 2016

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As the Myanmar authorities are subjecting the Rohingya to collective punishment, thousands of refugees who have made it across the border to Bangladesh in desperate need of humanitarian assistance are being forcibly pushed back in flagrant violation of international law, Amnesty International said Nov. 24.

"The Rohingya are being squeezed by the callous actions of both the Myanmar and Bangladesh authorities,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International's South Asia Director in a statement.

Rohingya Muslims are fleeing a policy of collective punishment in Myanmar's Northern Rakhine State, where security forces are mounting indiscriminate reprisal attacks in response to an Oct. 9 assault on three border posts that killed nine members of the border police.

Across the Naf River that divides Bangladesh and Myanmar, Rohingya refugees and asylum-seekers are forced into hiding and are suffering a severe lack of food and medical care, Amnesty International found in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district.

The Bangladeshi authorities have cracked down on the flow of Rohingya refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar. Over the past week, the Bangladesh Border Guards have detained and forcibly returned hundreds, said the rights group.

Since 1992, the Bangladesh government has a policy of denying Rohingya refugee status.

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