UN human rights experts condemn Rohingya deportations from India

04 April 2019
UN human rights experts condemn Rohingya deportations from India
Rohingya refugee woman returning home after washing her clothes in a makeshift settlement in Madanpur Khadar in New Delhi, India. Photo: Rajat Gupta/EPA

 UN human rights experts have condemned the Indian Government’s decision to deport three more Rohingya to Myanmar and urged the authorities to stop such forced deportations which are prohibited under international law, according to the UN Office of Human Rights High Commissioner.

The three Rohingyas deported, a father and his children, had been imprisoned since 2013, on charges related to lack of documentation. On 3 January 2019, India separated and forcibly returned five other members of their family to Myanmar.

"We are dismayed by the decision of the Indian Government to continue forced returns of Rohingya to Myanmar, where they face high risk of attacks, reprisals and other forms of persecution because of their ethnic and religious identity," said the experts.

Under international law, the principle of non-refoulement prohibits States from forcing individuals to return to countries when there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be at risk of persecution, torture, ill-treatment or other serious human rights violations.

The experts expressed their serious concerns with the Indian legal and administrative processes for refugee status determination. "The deportation of Rohingya to Myanmar speaks to a system of refugee status determination that fails to account for the ongoing, credible reports of ethnic and religious minority persecution in that country," the experts said.

"We also remain concerned with the systemic use of indefinite detention of Rohingya in India, which is indicative of the unacceptable conditions of discrimination and intolerance they face in the country where they have sought refuge."

The experts have relayed their concerns to the Indian authorities.