Ukhiya, Bangladesh: The Bangladesh authorities – police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Coast Guard – accompanied by a group of locals arrested more than 300 Rohingya refugees from Nayapara, Lada and Kutupalong refugee camps on December 2, 2012, said a refugee from Kutupalong official camp, who did not mention his name for security reason.
“The police arrested Rohingya refugees while they were going to their working stations – Teknaf land port, salt field, daily labors in markets and cultivation fields, rickshaw pullers and fishing industries.”
“They were arrested by the police and locals from Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar highway while returning to refugee (official and unofficial) camps by different vehicles after finishing their works in the evening.”
Among the arrestees, there are more unregistered refugees of Kutupalong makeshift camp, Lada refugee camp, Nayapara official camp and Kutupalong official refugee camp, said an unregistered refugee who got release after paying money.
The released refugee more said that the unregistered refugees went to different local areas of Cox’s Bazar district for working because of their survival as they don’t get any support from any quarter.
The refugees were arrested by check points –Dum Dum Meah, Wakham and Mawrisha and other areas Teknaf bus station, Ukiya busstation, Cox’s Bazar. After arrest, they were gathered in a place and demanded Taka 3,000 to 5,000 per head for their release. Of them, who refused to pay money were severely beaten up by locals.
However, some unregistered refugees and official refugees were released after paying money Taka 2,000 to 3,000 per each, according to a refugee watch group.
But, who did not pay money or were unable to pay money were pushed back to Burma, or sent to the jail, the watch group said.
“The International community are trying to access for refugee rights in Bangladesh, but, the authorities are going to crackdown the refugee same as Burma, who flee from their homeland to save their lives.”
“If authority issues an order for refugee, it will make very difficult to refugee for their survival as the local authority made it a big issue.”
A refugee leader told the Kaladan Press Network (KPN) from the makeshift camp, “We, unregistered refugees are very afraid to go out of the makeshift camp for finding works because of arbitrary arrests and harassment by police and locals.”