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SC To Hear Rohingya Refugees Case On Sep 18, Petitioners File Supplementary Affidavit [Read Affidavit]

The Writ Petition filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan against the proposed deportation of Rohingya refugees has been listed for 18 September, after the Centre sought more time to respond to it.

The Petitioners further filed a supplementary affidavit before the Apex Court on Monday, stating, “That the petitioners face an imminent danger of being deported vide the government directions in this order which directs the relevant authorities to identify and expeditiously deport illegal Rohingya refugees. This would also be an infringement of the Constitutional guarantees to refugees under Article 21 read with Article 51 (c) as well as the principle of non refoulement, which protects against the arbitrary deportation of refugees who have fled their home country due to the widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed in their home state.”

Besides, additional documents were also filed on Monday, including the Home Ministry’s letter dated 8th August, 2017 to all Chief Secretaries for the detection and deportation of Rohingya refugees.

The Petition, filed by two refugees, contends that the proposed deportation is contrary to Articles 14, 21 and 51(c) of the Constitution of India. They further allege violation of the principle of ‘Non-Refoulement’ that prohibits the deportation of refugees to a country where they face threat to their life.

“…this principle in International law would extend protection to the lives of the petitioners and other members from the Rohingya community who have fled the bloodshed, persecution and violence they have faced in Myanmar and would prevent India from deporting them,” the Petition explains.

It goes on to cite the UNHRC Report of 2016 which had noted successive patterns of serious human rights violations to the right to life, liberty and security of the Rohingyas by State security forces and other officials in Myanmar. Besides, it contends that the lack of citizenship of the Rohingya community heightens their vulnerability to a range of human rights violations.

“Violations include summary executions, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment, forced labour, arbitrary arrest and detention of hundreds of Rohingya, including women and children, and consistent allegations of torture and ill-treatment, including cases of severe beating, burning by cigarettes, burning of beards, forced labour, sexual humiliation and abuse, the denial of medical treatment, degrading conditions of detention and deaths in custody. Many from the Rohingya community fled their home country of Myanmar because of grave threat to their lives, and sought refuge in India. Their return would expose them to a serious threat of severe bodily harm,” it therefore submits.

Moreover, while the Petition acknowledges the lack of a de jure system of refugee protection in India, it contends that there exists a de facto refugee protection regime in the country. The authorities have, in general practice, taken cognizance of the UNHCR’s Refugee Certificates to allow most refugees an extended stay in India in the absence of political opposition, it submits.

The Petition, therefore, demands a direction to prevent deportation of the Rohingya Muslims, and to provide them with basic amenities to ensure that they can live in human conditions as required by International law in treatment of refugees.

Read the Affidavit Here

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