Help Rohingya’s; ABIM urges Bangladesh Government To Open Its Border
16 Jun 2012:- The ethnic and sectarian violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar is no longer a secret. It was reported hundreds of Rohingya Muslims were found dead and 3000 more which was unreported, while another 3000 were found severely injured and hundreds of houses and village were burned to the ground This tragic event has put the Rohingya Muslims at the edge of a crisis where they have no other options except to fled to the nearest neighboring country which is Bangladesh. But sadly and unfortunate, the Bangladeshi government ordered its border guards and naval services to prevent Burmese from crossing the border into Bangladesh to avoid the influx of refugees fleeing the West Myanmar. Its Foreign Minister Dipu Moni even had made an irresponsible statement by saying that “It is not in our interest that new refugees come from Myanmar”.
This is truly worrying as to date, according to Bangladeshi authorities report; at least 1500 people aboard 10-20 boats have been denied access to Bangladesh over the last three days. ABIM believes that this number will keep increasing day by day. ABIM thus urge that the government of Bangladesh to open its borders to people seeking sanctuary from the violence occurred in the Rakhine State. We further remind the Bangladeshi government of the principle of non-refoulement (refugees right to be protected from forcible return) which was come into existence through the light of Article 33(1) of the 1951 Convention which also known as the Refugee Convention. Article 33(1) states that:-
“No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion”
ABIM do realize that fact that Bangladesh is not the signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol. Be that as it may, need to be reminded that the principle of non-refoulement has been widely accepted to be part of customary international law which to the effect that; even if Bangladesh is not the signatory to the Refugee Convention, they are legally obligated to respect the principle.
ABIM further urge that the Bangladeshi government to act in accordance to the basic structure of their constitution which in the preamble pledge to make full contribution towards international peace and co-operation in keeping with the progressive aspirations of mankind. ABIM also would like to echo the call of the majority of international humanitarian agencies for the Bangladeshi government to allow access to the borders to assist the government in receiving the Rohingya Muslims refugees.
Lastly, we hope that the Bangladeshi Government; whom has the high ideals of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah will seriously take this duty owes towards the Rohingya Muslims.
JUFITRI BIN JOHA
Vice President (International Affairs), ABIM