To 10 May 2017
National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi- 110023
Please accept sincere greetings from MASUM, on the day of 156th birth anniversary of Rabindra Nanth Tagore, the first president of ICLU (Indian Civil Liberties Union) the first ever civil liberties organization in India, who fought tirelessly for release of political prisoners.
I lodge this present complaint seeking your intervention where one Rohingya man had to flee away from his country Myanmar and was arrested by our police. Mr. Abdur Sukur, son of- Md. Abdulla, aged about-40 years, from village-Kandma, Police Station & Post Office-Bushibhil, District- Ai Kap (Myanmar) was arrested on 29.03.2017 by the police of Hili Police Station, District-South Dinajpur, West Bengal, India.
The police alleged against him that he entered into India without any valid document and on 29.3.2017 when he was travelling aimlessly at Hili Bus Stand under Hili Police Station, Border Security Force personnel captured him and sent him to Hili Police Station. Hili Police shown arrest him under section 14A (b) of Foreigners Act in Hili Police Station Case no.373/2017. He was produced before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Balurghat and the magistrate directed judicial custody for him. Till date he was imprisoned in Balurghat Correctional Home.
The victim is a Rohingya Muslim refugee of Mayanmar. Rohingya Muslim community a suppressed ethno-religious minority community of Rakhayin Province of Mayanmar faces immense torture, mass killing targeting ethnic cleansing by state and majority Buddhist. They are systematically deprived from basic Human Rights. A large section of Rohingya refugees fled to the adjoining part of Bangladesh and rest of the world by using boat in the perilous Bay of Bengal. They have no option but to flee from their own country.
The law enforcement agency ignored that he is a stateless person who shall suffer death, bodily injury or other grave human rights violations if repatriated to Myanmar after serving the sentence if any pronounced against him in the prosecution. As per Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th December, 1984 to which India is a signatory, the law enforcing agency is obligated not to forcibly repatriate him to Myanmar.
He has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution and such right flows from Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and thus denying him of such right is an absolute violation of the principles enshrined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 which the Government of India is bound to respect and follow having ratified the same. In the absence of a national legal framework for refugees in India, UNHCR-India conducts refugee status determination under its mandate for asylum seekers who approach the office of the UNHCR in India. The UNHCR says approximately 14,000 Rohingya are spread across six locations in India. It has given Refugee Status certificates to approximately 11,000 Rohingyas in India; the remaining 3,000 are “asylum seekers”. But more importantly, the Indian government has given Long Term Visas to 500 Rohingyas.
I hope that the victim in this case will be equally treated and be provided with equal opportunity to seek refugee status from UNHCR-India instead of rotting behind the bar.
I lodge this present complaint seeking appropriate intervention from the Commission for the above stated victim being Rohingya Muslim and I hope that the Commission shall consider the following demands of justice for the victim:-
- The concerned authorities must be directed to make a through enquiry on the situation of the victim and he should be given proper opportunity to seek refugee status from UNHCR-India.
- The prosecution registered against the victim should be withdrawn immediately considering the facts and circumstances of the victim.
- Any other action as the Commission may deem fit and proper.
National Convener, PACTI