Appeal to stop eviction of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, and allow relief and shelter until their case is heard by UNHCR

To

The Police Commissioner
Delhi Police
New Delhi


13 May, 2012

Subject: Appeal to stop eviction of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, and allow relief and shelter until their case is heard by UNHCR

Sir,

We seek your sympathetic intervention in the matter of around 2000 Rohingya Myanmar refugees, who are currently in Delhi.

623 refugee families from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar have been in India for the past two years, forced to wander from one place to another in search of shelter and survival. They have been in Delhi since 9 April, to take up the matter of their refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Since then, have been living in abominable conditions in refugee camps in Delhi, suffering hunger, and lack of shelter. To begin with, the refugee camp was just behind the UNHCR office in Vasant Vihar, and now this camp has been shifted to other premises in Vasantkunj- Mahipalpur area.

The UNHCR, following a dialogue on 10 May, has given a date of 15 May, 2010 for consideration of their petition. But the Delhi Police is attempting to evict them today itself, even before they can get a fair hearing at the UNHCR.

Today, we are appalled that JNU Students' Union members were not allowed by police to meet the refugees and hand over relief that had been collected for them. And the refugees are being loaded on buses and taken to an unknown location. The refugees say they are being moved against their will, while the police claims they are returning of their own will 'to where they came from,' outside Delhi. If they are removed from Delhi against their will, even before the UNHCR can take up their case, it will be a terrible humanitarian tragedy with international implications.


We the undersigned seek your urgent and sympathetic intervention to ensure that the refugees, including a large number of women and children, are allowed to stay in Delhi, and given adequate police protection at least until their hearing with the UNHCR on 15 May.

Signatories
Justice Rajinder Sachar, former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court
Kuldip Nayar, Senior Journalist
Sanjay Parikh, Lawyer, Supreme Court
Sucheta De: President, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNUSU)
Dr Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh
Anand Swarup Verma, Editor, Teesari Duniya
Wilfred D Costa, Indian Social Action Forum, New Delhi
Anil Chaudhary, PEACE, New Delhi
Pushpraj, Author, New Delhi
Gopal Krishna, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), New Delhi

For Details Contact: Ph: +91-11-65663958, Telefax:+91-11-26517814, Mb:09818089660

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