Bangladesh Orders Telecom Operators to Stop Services in Rohingya Camps

Citizenship is at the heart of Rohingya demands for repatriation to Myanmar

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) also asked mobile phone providers to stop selling cell phone SIM cards to the refugees in line with the government's instructions, said Mohamad Johurul Haque, the agency's chairman.

Zakir added that the decision was taken for reasons of state security, law and order as well as public safety.

Back in August 2017, about 700,000 Rohingya had fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine state, following a military crackdown in response to the militant attack.

The BTRC also reiterated the directive issued in October past year asking all mobile operators to restrict their networks in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border areas as well as block networks in and around Rohingya camps.

The Rohingya people have faced discrimination, statelessness and targeted violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which forced them to migrate to Bangladesh. A Rohingya leader quoted in the Asian Correspondent said the ban would "would hugely affect Rohingya life, disrupting communications between different camps scattered across the border district of Cox's Bazar".

The ban on sale of mobile SIM cards to Rohingya refugees was first imposed in September 2017.

More news: Johnson loses majority ahead of Brexit parliament showdown

The order to stop mobile services had been reissued following reports of providing mobile phone services to Rohingya through selling of SIM cards by carriers defying a government ban, Khan said.

The operators were asked to report back in seven days about the measures they had taken. Myanmar has denied nearly all the allegations.

On Sunday police mentioned a fourth Rohingya refugee used to be shot useless within the fallout over the homicide of native ruling party professional Omar Faruk by way of suspected Rohingya criminals.

Bangladesh has up to now attempted to limit cell phone get admission to within the settlements.

A second attempt to begin repatriating the refugees to Myanmar failed last month after no refugees agreed to return voluntarily. "But the situation is getting worse day by day", said Iqbal Hossain, additional superintendent of police in Cox's Bazar. "How we will communicate with our relatives in Myanmar?", Abdur Rahim, a Rohingya leader in Cox's Bazar, told Reuters by phone.

Myanmar authorities are forcing members of the Rohingya Muslim minority at gunpoint to accept identity cards that categorise them as foreigners, stripping them of the chance to become citizens, a rights group said on Tuesday.

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