Day: October 6, 2018

October 6, 2018 Off

UN blasts India’s deportation of Rohingya to Myanmar

By Web Desk

The United Nations voiced alarm on Friday over India’s deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar despite warnings they could face persecution in a country where the military is accused of genocide against the Muslim minority.

The UN refugee agency said it was greatly concerned for the safety and security of the seven men who were returned to Myanmar from India on Thursday. The men, who had been in detention for immigration offences since 2012, were handed over to Myanmar authorities at a border crossing in India’s northeast state of Manipur. Before their deportation, the United Nations had expressed concern that returning the men ignored the danger they faced in Myanmar, where for decades the Rohingya have been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.

UNHCR said the Indian authorities had not responded to its request that they assess the men’s claims to international refugee protection in the country. UNHCR regrets that the agency did not receive a response to this request and was unable to secure access for a lawyer from a state legal service, agency spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva. UNHCR continues to seek clarifications from the authorities on the circumstances under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar, he said.

He said the UN agency was concerned that they did not have access to legal counsel, were not given the chance to access asylum processing and have their claims assessed in India. The UN special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, warned India on Tuesday that it risked breaking international laws on refoulement � the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they could be harmed.

The Rohingya are despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them Bengali illegal immigrants. They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has driven some 720,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.

While Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the Rohingya, the process has stalled as Rohingya refugees fear returning to their homes without guarantees of safety and rights.

An assessment done by the UNHCR and UNDP � the UN’s development arm �shows conditions are not conducive for a safe, dignified and sustainable return, UNHCR’s Mahecic said. While there were some villagers who restarted interactions with the Muslim community, there is still mistrust and fears between the two.

A second phase was launched on Friday morning in the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung � all sites of atrocities allegedly spearheaded by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya.

The army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to root out Rohingya insurgents. But a UN fact-finding mission said there was enough evidence to merit prosecution of several top Myanmar military commanders for crimes against humanity and genocide against Rohingya civilians. New Delhi considers the Rohingya a security threat, pointing to intelligence which it says links the minority group to extremist organizations. The government had ordered last year that all Rohingya inside India � New Delhi puts the figure at 40,000 � be deported. The Supreme Court is considering a petition challenging the order as unconstitutional. The UNHCR said on Friday there are 18,000 Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers registered with the agency in India.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

October 6, 2018 Off

UN blasts India’s deportation of Rohingya to Myanmar

By Web Desk

The United Nations voiced alarm on Friday over India’s deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar despite warnings they could face persecution in a country where the military is accused of genocide against the Muslim minority.

The UN refugee agency said it was greatly concerned for the safety and security of the seven men who were returned to Myanmar from India on Thursday. The men, who had been in detention for immigration offences since 2012, were handed over to Myanmar authorities at a border crossing in India’s northeast state of Manipur. Before their deportation, the United Nations had expressed concern that returning the men ignored the danger they faced in Myanmar, where for decades the Rohingya have been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.

UNHCR said the Indian authorities had not responded to its request that they assess the men’s claims to international refugee protection in the country. UNHCR regrets that the agency did not receive a response to this request and was unable to secure access for a lawyer from a state legal service, agency spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva. UNHCR continues to seek clarifications from the authorities on the circumstances under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar, he said.

He said the UN agency was concerned that they did not have access to legal counsel, were not given the chance to access asylum processing and have their claims assessed in India. The UN special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, warned India on Tuesday that it risked breaking international laws on refoulement � the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they could be harmed.

The Rohingya are despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to recognize them as citizens and falsely labels them Bengali illegal immigrants. They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has driven some 720,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.

While Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the Rohingya, the process has stalled as Rohingya refugees fear returning to their homes without guarantees of safety and rights.

An assessment done by the UNHCR and UNDP � the UN’s development arm �shows conditions are not conducive for a safe, dignified and sustainable return, UNHCR’s Mahecic said. While there were some villagers who restarted interactions with the Muslim community, there is still mistrust and fears between the two.

A second phase was launched on Friday morning in the townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung � all sites of atrocities allegedly spearheaded by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya.

The army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to root out Rohingya insurgents. But a UN fact-finding mission said there was enough evidence to merit prosecution of several top Myanmar military commanders for crimes against humanity and genocide against Rohingya civilians. New Delhi considers the Rohingya a security threat, pointing to intelligence which it says links the minority group to extremist organizations. The government had ordered last year that all Rohingya inside India � New Delhi puts the figure at 40,000 � be deported. The Supreme Court is considering a petition challenging the order as unconstitutional. The UNHCR said on Friday there are 18,000 Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers registered with the agency in India.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

October 6, 2018 Off

Saudi KACST manufactures two reconnaissance satellites

By Web Desk

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has developed and manufactured “Saudi Sat 5A” and “Saudi Sat 5B”, two reconnaissance satellites to join the second generation of high-accuracy Saudi remote-sensing satellites to be launched this ye…

October 6, 2018 Off

Remarks With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

By Web Desk

PRIME MINISTER ABE: Secretary Pompeo, welcome back to Japan.

(Via interpreter) During my most recent trip to New York on the occasion of the UN General Assembly, I had very productive discussions with President Trump over dinner as well as our summit meeting. And I believe that utilizing these opportunities, we could demonstrate to the world that the alliance between Japan and the United States has become more robust than ever.

I and Japan highly value that you decided to visit Japan right before your planned visit to North Korea at this time. Taking this opportunity, I would like to have thorough coordination with you on our respective policies toward North Korea as well as our efforts to address the abductions, nuclear and missile issues.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for hosting me here; I know it’s a Saturday. I appreciate you and your team spending time with my team as well. We think it’s very important, and we expect it will be very productive. It’s important for us to hear from you as we � as I travel to Pyongyang to make sure that we’re fully in sync with respect to missile programs, the CBW program. We will bring up the issue of the abductees as well. And then we’ll share with you how we hope to proceed when we’re in Pyongyang tomorrow so we’ll have a full coordinated, unified view of how to proceed, which will be what is needed if we’re going to be successful in denuclearizing North Korea.

And finally, President Trump wanted me to make sure and express how much he enjoyed the time he got to spend with you in New York. And I wanted to tell you how excited I am about the openings that we now have to get our trade arrangements, our trade agreement in place. I think there’s a real opportunity. I think this is incredibly important for each of our two countries.

So thank you for hosting us again.

Source: U.S. Department of State

October 6, 2018 Off

Israel to remove UN Palestinian agency from Jerusalem

By Web Desk

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Friday expressed concern after Jerusalem’s Israeli mayor said he would remove it from the city.

Mayor Nir Barkat announced in a statement on Thursday a detailed plan to remove UNRWA from Jerusalem and replace its services with municipal services. UNRWA said such a move would affect its humanitarian operations and installations in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. The agency runs schools and health centers particularly in the Shuafat refugee camp where it says 24,000 Palestinians are estimated to live. UNRWA has come under pressure from Israel and the United States.

The two countries object to the fact that Palestinians can pass refugee status to their children, and want the number of refugees covered by the agency to be sharply reduced.

The US administration ending its funding to UNRWA in August, the latest in a series of controversial moves applauded by the Israeli government but criticized by the Palestinians and the international community. The US decision has created a rare opportunity to replace UNRWA’s services with services of the Jerusalem Municipality, Barkat said. We are putting an end to the lie of the ‘Palestinian refugee problem’ and the attempts at creating a false sovereignty within a sovereignty, he added.

The issue of Palestinian refugees �along with the status of Jerusalem � has long been a major sticking point in peace efforts. More than 750,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation. They and their descendants are now classified as refugees who fall under UNRWA’s mandate. Palestinian leaders continue to call for at least some of them to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel under any peace deal.

Israel says Palestinians must give up the so-called right of return and that allowing descendants of refugees to inherit their status only perpetuates the problem instead of solving it. Israel also considers all of Jerusalem as its united capital, while the Palestinians see the predominantly Arab eastern area as the capital of their future state.

Some five million registered Palestinians refugees are eligible for UNRWA services in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the blockaded Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Barkat said that under his plan all UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem will be closed by the end of the current school year. Health centers will likewise be shut down.

The municipality will also lobby Israeli political leaders and press them to exercise their authority to remove UNRWA (headquarters) from Israel’s sovereign territory in Jerusalem. In parallel, the city will work to expropriate the area for public purposes, he said. But on Friday UNRWA said it was determined to continue to carrying out its services in East Jerusalem and criticized Barkat’s plan. Such messaging challenges the core principles of impartial and independent humanitarian action and does not reflect the robust and structured dialogue and interaction that UNRWA and the State of Israel have traditionally maintained, the agency said.

Source: International Islamic News Agency