Published: Fri, September 06, 2019
Tech | By

Bangladesh orders telecom operators to stop services in Rohingya camps

Bangladesh orders telecom operators to stop services in Rohingya camps

"All mobile phone companies have been instructed to ensure that the Rohingya people do not get access to the mobiles for the sake of state   security and importance, law and order, and public safety, he said".

A large number of mobile phones were being used in the refugee camps. "We've asked the operators to take action to stop it", he said, saying the decision was made on "security grounds".

Myanmar has drawn global condemnation for its treatment of the Rohingya and the report by the group Fortify Rights on the campaign to make them accept National Verification Cards (NVCs) is likely to compound concerns about their treatment. Bangladeshi security forces have shot dead a total of at least 34 Rohingya over the past two years, mostly for alleged methamphetamines trafficking.

According to the police, the move follows an outbreak of violence in recent weeks at the camps.

The phone operators have also been asked to inform the BTRC within next seven working days the measures taken in this regard.

The operators were asked on Sunday to block mobile services and stop selling mobile SIMs to the Rohingya.

Bangladesh orders telecom operators to stop services in Rohingya camps

The US ambassador said that his government was beside Bangladesh in the Rohingya situation and would continue the support. The Bangladesh government had banned mobile phones in Rohingya camps in 2017, but this was never wholly enforced; mobile phones and SIM cards remained easily available. "If weakened, the Myanmar mobile phone towers would not reach Bangladeshi towers and the Rohingya would not be able to contact people in Rakhine".

"I have my family there. He also said that mobile phones for refugees mean a lot in their daily life and living". "This is not a good decision for us".

The government of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar has denied citizenship to most Rohingya, who are generally seen as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, even though many trace their roots in Rakhine State in western Myanmar back for generations.

Last year, the United Nations -established Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar recommended the prosecution of Myanmar's top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Efforts to begin repatriating 3,450 Rohingya cleared by Myanmar failed on August 22 after none agreed to go, nearly a year after a similar effort failed amid protests.

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