Australia trying to pay Rohingya refugees to return to the genocide they fled

By Tomas Munita for The New York Times
Oma Salema, 12, held her undernourished brother Ayub Khan, 1, at a camp for Rohingya in Sittwe, Myanmar. Some 140,000 Rohingya live here in rows of flimsy bamboo huts without electricity. Raw sewage flows through open concrete drains, and children are commonly undernourished. Tomas Munita for The New York Times

Currently Myanmar is waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing (genocide) against the Muslim Rohingya minority. Unsurprisingly, Australia is continuing to refuse help to any refugee, and is now even going so far as they try to pay Rohingya refugees thousands of dollars to return to Myanmar. Paying them to return to a genocide waged against them.

The Guardian reports:

Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority.

Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, even if they face violence.

Papua New Guinea’s supreme court last year ruled the centre for around 800 people breached human rights, was illegal and must close. Australia has since ratcheted up efforts to clear the centre, offering up to A$25,000 to refugees agreeing to go home.

Returning Rohingya to their country could put their lives at risk. Myanmar does not recognise the ethnic minority and has conducted military operations in Rohingya villages that the United Nations’ top human rights official branded “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Close to 400,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, many with bullet wounds and stories of mass killings, as their villages burn.

This is absolutely barbaric and heartless behaviour from Australia. Worse than not accepting them, they are pressuring these refugees to return to actual genocide. This certainly verges on violating international refugee law, if it doesn’t already.

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