Caged at Home, Caged in Exile.
Shafiur Rahman Rohingya Today
Kutupalong market (December 23rd 2019) Pic: Nur Hossain

Barbed-wire fencing of Rohingya Camps & other restrictions. A timeline of events.


Rohingya refugees are facing a series of tight restrictive measures and increased military presence in the camps of Bangladesh. These measures impact on every aspect of refugee life — including mobile communications, freedom of movement, education, and the ability to earn cash. The most visible element of the new measures is the construction of barbed-wire fencing around the camps with watchtowers and CCTV cameras.

The Bangladesh Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence recommended the construction of the security fence on 4 September 2019. The decision was approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and construction began in late November. The objective, according to Muhammad Farooq Khan, a member of the Defence Standing Committee, was to ensure that “no one can get out of the camp or get in”.

Commencing 22nd August 2019, there appears to have been a sea change in the attitude of the Bangladesh government and the host population towards Rohingya. One Bangladeshi minister promised to “reduce the comfort of the Rohingya so that they agree to return” and the Prime Minister herself declared at the United Nations that the Rohingya crisis had resulted in a health and security crisis” in Cox’s Bazar and constituted a regional threat”.

Below, I provide a timeline with links to news reports of the main developments since August 2019. What emerges is a very tense picture of the Rohingya camps where Bangladesh perceives a “security threat”, “law and order threat” and a “cost burden”. It blames the UN, NGOs and Rohingya themselves for a variety of developments in the camps. The refugees, on the other hand, believe their basic rights and humanitarian needs are being denied and trampled upon.

Read full article here: 

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