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48 Indians lodged in foreign prisons despite serving term: MEA

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photo credit: www.prameyanews7.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Despite having served their term, 48 Indian nationals proceeded to be lodged in foreign prisons and deportation centers, including 40 in Bangladesh.

photo credit: www.indiatvnews.com
photo credit: www.indiatvnews.com

“As per available information, there are 48 Indian nationals who have completed their sentences and are waiting for completion of deportation formalities in foreign jails and in deportation centers,” the external affairs ministry told the assurances committee of the Rajya Sabha on information sought by Avinash Rai, an MP from Punjab.

Of these, 40 Indians are lodged in various Bangladesh jails, five in Myanmar, two at a deportation centre in Bahrain and one in Malaysia.

About the reasons for delay in bringing them back, the ministry said, “Some information was to be collected from Indian missions abroad.”

“The number of Indian nationals who have completed their terms in various jails in Bangladesh is 40. Since July 2014, out of 37 prisoners, 16 have been released and repatriated. 19 new convicted and under-trial prisoners who have completed their sentences have been added to the previous list of released prisoners,” the ministry further stated.

The ministry also said Indian missions and posts also provide air tickets for facilitating the return of the Indian nationals.

(with inputs from TOI)

Next Story

UN Appeals to Aid Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya Refugee Crisis Has Bangladesh, UN Calling for Help

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Rohingya refugees
Rohingya refugees wait in an area following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf. VOA

By Lisa Schlein

The U.N. refugee and migration agencies are jointly appealing for $877 million to aid 855,000 Rohingya refugees, most of whom fled violence and persecution from Myanmar three years ago, and more than 444,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis hosting them.

More than half of the money will provide vital services, including food, shelter, clean water and sanitation.  The rest of the appeal will be used for health, protection, education, site management, energy and environmental needs.

Shahriar Alam of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says his government has welcomed this large exiled population within its midst.  But he acknowledges their presence poses challenges and that the solution to the plight of the Rohingya refugees is repatriation to Myanmar when that becomes possible. But this is unlikely to happen, he says, without the vigorous support of the International community.

“We expect that U.N. member countries to do more and work closely and do everything possible to put pressure on Myanmar to take their citizenship back in a manner, a repatriation that is safe, voluntary, and dignified,” Alam said.

Rohingya refugees
Coast guards escort Rohingya refugees following a boat capsizing accident, in Teknaf. VOA

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi agrees that Bangladesh deserves support for hosting nearly one million Rohingya.  He laments the short attention span of the media and the international community who quickly move from one crisis to another.

As a consequence, he says the Rohingya have become largely forgotten.  He agrees with the Government of Bangladesh that the solution continues to be in Myanmar.

“The problem is that things that need to be done there to create conditions for refugees to return from Bangladesh into Myanmar are too slow or not happening yet–freedom of movement, return of internally displaced people that are in camps in Rakhine State,” Grandi said.

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Grandi says those who return should be granted housing, land, and property rights and be given the education and training they need to be able to work.  But the most fundamental step of all, he says, is for the Rohingya to be given a path to citizenship.

The Rohingya who have lived in Myanmar for generations were stripped of their citizenship in 1982. (VOA)