The Bangladeshi government has transferred more than 3,000 Rohingya to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, despite concerns from advocacy groups that many of the persecuted refugees may have been forced to moving to the flood-prone island.
At least 1,800 refugees were dispatched to Bhashan Char Island on Tuesday, weeks after the transfer of the first batch of 1,600 Rohingyas. The government plans to eventually relocate 100,000 Rohingyas to the remote island, as it aims to decongest the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, which are home to around one million Rohingyas.
The United Nations and rights groups have condemned the relocation to the island, which is prone to cyclones and flooding.
Refugees and aid workers say some Rohingya have been forced to travel to the island, which emerged from the sea just 20 years ago.
More than 700,000 Rohingyas took refuge in camps in Bangladesh in 2017 after a deadly crackdown by the Burmese military which the UN says could amount to genocide.
Several attempts to repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar have failed after refugees said they feared too much more violence to return.