Rohingya woman India deported reunited with family in Bangladesh

The land Rohingyas have set up their camp was offered Zakat Foundation of India, an NGO in India. Farah Rafeeq/Maktoob

Rohingyan refugee Hasina Begum, 37, who was deported by Indian authorities in March, reunites with her family in Bangladesh. Her family, who were left behind in the Jammu Rohingya camp, met her in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, which is home to almost 1 million Rohingyas who have fled the genocide in Myanmar.

Despite having a UN refugee card, Begum was deported on 22 March, despite an order by the Manipur State Human Rights Commission putting the deportation on hold.

According to The Guardian, Begum was taken to Ranee, a small hamlet in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which she had left 10 years ago. A Muslim family took her in. But as soon as she arrived, she planned on to flee to Bangladesh where she asked her husband to come as well.

Approximately 40,000 Rohingya live in India after the brutal crackdown by the Myanmar army in 2017 where thousands were killed.

Begum is determined not to go back to Myanmar. “We saw our people being butchered in Myanmar in front of our eyes,” Begum told The Guardian. She was five months pregnant with her third child in 2012 when the family fled brutal violence at the hands of the Myanmar military in Sittwe.

A public anti-Rohingya campaign by Hindu nationalist groups, claiming that the Rohingya Muslims are “terrorists,” has incited vigilante-style violence, including arson attacks on the homes of Rohingya in Jammu and Delhi.

In 2018 following a fire in a Rohingya settlement in Delhi that burned at least 50 homes, a leader from the youth wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party applauded the action on Twitter, saying “Well done by our heroes…Yes, we burnt the houses of Rohingya terrorists.”

Although India is not a party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, the prohibition of refoulement has become a norm of customary international law that India is bound to respect, states HRW.