Bangladesh: Is Bhasan Char a ‘prison island’ for Rohingya refugees? | The Stream

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  • Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Bangladesh: Is Bhasan Char a ‘prison island’ for Rohingya refugees? | The Stream” – below is their description.

    Concerns are mounting about the fate of some 20,000 Rohingya refugees who have been relocated to a remote island 60km (37.5 miles) off the coast of Bangladesh in recent months.

    In Bhasan Char, these migrants face food shortages, inadequate healthcare, informal education, and few employment options, Human Rights Watch said in a new report.

    The Rohingya are a majority-Muslim ethnic group who have lived in Myanmar for generations, but deadly military crackdowns in 2016 and 2017 spurred many to flee to neighboring nations.

    Bangladesh continues to host the majority of the refugees – some 1 million Rohingya – in and around camps at Cox’s Bazaar, the world’s largest refugee camp. To help ease crowding there, government officials aim to move 100,000 refugees from the mainland into the $350 million Bhasan Char development. But advocates are urging authorities to reassess this strategy.

    However, as the refugee crisis enters its fourth year, Myanmar has not taken any steps to repatriate the Rohingya, and conditions remain unsafe for their return.

    In this episode of The Stream we ask, should Bangladesh stop sending Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char?

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    In This Story: Bangladesh

    Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 162 million people.

    Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

    Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation’s economic, political, and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city.

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    Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country’s largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.

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