Dhaka: The police said that on Monday, thousands of Rohingya held an “unruly” protest against living conditions on a hurricane-prone island near Bangladesh. They moved from a large camp on the mainland. Out.
Since December, Bangladesh has shifted 18,000 out of a planned 100,000 refugees to the low-lying silt island of Bhashan Char from the Cox s Bazar region, where around 850,000 people live in squalid and cramped conditions.
Most of them had fled a brutal military offensive in neighbouring Myanmar in 2017 that UN investigators concluded was executed with “genocidal intent”.
Monday s protest involved up to 4,000 people, police said, and coincided with an inspection visit by officials from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).
“The Rohingya who are there became unruly the moment the UNHCR representatives landed (on the island) by helicopter today,” local police chief Alamgir Hossain told AFP.
“They broke the glass on warehouses by throwing rocks. They came at the police… Their demand is they don t want to live here.”
A Rohingya man confirmed to AFP that someone had thrown bricks and the police prevented them from entering a building where UNHCR officials were present.
An international activist said that police used batons to disperse protesters. He quoted a Rohingya source as saying that several protesters were injured. The police rejected this statement.
A police spokesman said that the Rohingya protesters attacked the police and injured several people. He said they also damaged cars on the island.
The UN Refugee Agency said in a statement, “It is deeply concerned about reports that refugees were injured in the incident on the island today. We regret that the reported affected people include children and women.
“The UNHCR delegation was able to meet with a large group of refugees and to listen to the various issues that they raised, which the delegation will further discuss with the Bangladesh authorities,” the statement added.
The delegation was due to visit the Rohingya refugee camps Tuesday in Cox s Bazar before returning to Dhaka to meet with senior government officials.