India deports seven Rohingya to Myanmar despite United Nations protest

India deports seven Rohingya to Myanmar despite United Nations protest

India deports seven Rohingya to Myanmar despite United Nations protest

The seven Rohingya men to be deported sit as Indian and Myanmar security officials exchange documents before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, Oct. 4, 2018.

"We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken", the apex court said.

Senior police officer Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Wednesday that the seven people were arrested in 2012 for entering India illegally and have been held in an Assam state prison.

"Following the verification, Myanmar government issued a certificate of identity to the seven Rohingya along with one month visa to facilitate their deportation", he said, adding that after getting the travel documents they were taken to the border.

The order was passed by a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

The Rohingya approached the Supreme Court after India's junior home affairs minister, Kiren Rijiju, told parliament previous year that state governments had been asked to identify and deport people who entered the country illegally, including Rohingya. CJI Gogoi said: "Mr Counsel, we are aware of our responsibilities". The Rohingyas were later lodged at a detention centre in Assam's Silchar.

He said that after the genocide which has happened in Myanmar in which over 10,000 people have died, lakhs of Rohingya have migrated to Bangladesh and India.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, speaking exclusively to India Today TV, said that Rohingya are all "illegal immigrants" in India, not "refugees".

Global rights groups said the deportation violates worldwide law, and the U.N.'s refugee agency said conditions in Myanmar's Rakhine state, from where the Rohingya have fled, are not safe for their return.

Legal efforts to stymie their deportation failed when the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a petition on their behalf and upheld their status as illegal immigrants.

It is wrong, they haven't been recognised, Prashant Bhushan replied, saying it was the responsibility of the court. It had also asked state governments to identify and deport them.

This is the first time Rohingya immigrants have been sent back to Myanmar from India.

UN Special Rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, said in a statement, "The Indian Government has an global legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection".

On Wednesday, the office of the high commissioner for human rights had accused India of "refoulement", or forcible return of refugees to a country where they are liable to be persecuted.

Rakhine was the epicentre of a Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has driven 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.

These Rohingyas were in a jail in Assam since 2012, when they illegally entered India.

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