Myanmar President U Win Myint has pardoned 58 displaced Rohingyas who were detained while attempting to re-enter the country from Bangladesh.
A statement released by the State Counsellor’s Office on Sunday said that Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed the Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State on 23 November 2017 and one of the provisions of the agreement was that action will not be taken against the returnees except for the cases that involved terrorist activities.
In accordance with the agreement, “the President has pardoned 58 persons. These people were released from prison and sent to the Nga Khu Ya Reception Camp on 26 May 2018. After the necessary verification, they will be transferred to the Transit Camp in Hla Phoe Khaung”, the statement said.
These Rohingya refugees from camps in Cox’s Bazaar were “returning to Rakhine State of their own volition and under their own arrangements” and they were arrested and some were given prison sentences.
Despite the bilateral agreement, not a single person has been officially repatriated from Bangladesh camps as of today.
Earlier in April, Myanmar claimed that a family of five who had left home during the terrorist attacks in August 2017, have returned to Taung Pyo Letwe Reception Centre, Maungtaw District, in Rakhine State on 14 April. But Bangladesh has rejected this claim. Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the socalled repatriation of a Rohingya family was nothing but a “farce”.
“The Rohingya family did not reach Bangladesh as they used to live in no man’s land [between Bangladesh and Myanmar]. I hope Myanmar will repatriate all the refugee families within the shortest possible time,” Asaduzzaman Khan had told reporters.
Around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal military campaign that began last August following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on the security forces.