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UNHCR concern over reported Rohingya deportations

A young Rohingya man at the Kutupalong stands before one of a number of shelters now being replaced at the government-run camp. David Swanson/IRIN
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has expressed concern over reports that more than 70 ethnic Rohingya have been deported to Myanmar from Thailand.

“We continue to request access to this group if they are still on Thai soil,” Vivian Tan, a spokeswoman for the agency, told IRIN on 4 January. “At this point, we simply don’t know.”

Her comments follow media reports that Thai immigration authorities had deported 73 Rohingya asylum seekers, including at least a dozen children, to Myanmar, after their boat, en route to Malaysia, was intercepted in Thai waters on 1 January.

On 3 January, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Thailand to halt its deportation plans and allow UNHCR to handle the case. “The Thai government should scrap its inhumane policy of summarily deporting Rohingya, who have been brutally persecuted in Burma, and honour their right to seek asylum,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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