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TEKNAF — Bangkok-based human rights organization has urged the Government Bangladesh to allow them ashore and take action against their traffickers, while some recent survivors rescued from a ship found adrift reveals killings, beatings, and deprivations of food and water by crew members, causing scores of deaths.

“Bangladesh should urgently deploy search and rescue missions,” said Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights adding “The murderous operators of these ships are treating refugees as disposable property and that’s even more reason to rescue boats at sea. Bangladesh is obligated to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.”

Hundreds of Rohingya are suspected to be stranded on at least two ships in the Indian Ocean. On April 22, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdul Momen told the media: “I am opposed to allowing these Rohingya into the country because Bangladesh is always asked to take care of the responsibility of other countries . . . We can no longer allow [in] any Rohingya.”

On April 23, UNHCR called on states to avoid COVID-19 response measures that “result in the closure of avenues to asylum, or of forcing people to return to situations of danger.”

Earlier this month, on April 16, Malaysia pushed out to sea a ship of Rohingya refugees. The whereabouts of the ship and the well-being of its passengers remains unknown.