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Refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp are in danger and fear after the government suspended 3G and 4G services in a newer step to tighten the grip on the refugees, because the daily social communication of the refugees with the extremely miserable living conditions is disrupted.

Refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp are in danger and fear after the government suspended 3G and 4G services in a newer step to tighten the grip on the refugees, because the daily social communication of the refugees with the extremely miserable living conditions is disrupted.

 The refugees camp being a densely populated area, there is possible occurrence of crimes like the cases of kidnapping, abducting, robbery, burglary, illegal trades, etc. Now by the suspension of internet services, as if the anti-social elements are set free when there could not be communication for cooperation among society members.

Rohingyas are watching news on mobile phones in Bangladesh Rohingya camps [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Especially, in the cases of emergency health issues and security issues people are made helpless as even the direct phone calls can not be done more than one minute. Refugee societies are like other modern societies where mobiles became one of the basic necessity. Parents are worried about their kids when they go to schools, shops and healthcare. There are also hundreds of unaccompanied girls and women who go out to work or other needs, they are at risk.

Mobile operators in Ukhiya and Teknaf suspended 3G and 4G services and restricted other services since Tuesday and it will remain inactive or restricted until further direction from the government, according to BTRC.

Though the direction was for the suspension of 3G and 4G services in the most needed time (5pm-6am), Miya Ali, a refugee activist told RVision “Since yesterday, even the direct call is restricted for refugees. The call cuts off automatically after the length of one minute call.”

Describing the situation, he said,

There is no internet connection in camps. Local shopkeepers stop selling SIM cards and mobile credits to refugees. Bangladeshi army confiscate mobile and smart phones in camps.

“Bangladesh government took this step since the second time failure of repatriation on August 22.” According to another source, Bangladesh has taken Muhibbullah’s saying “we never go back to Myanmar” out of the context “until our demands are fulfilled” in 25th August gathering.

Rohingya refugees plea Bangladeshi government to stop anti-mobiles violent operation started at camps No. 26 and 27 located in Shalbagan, Jadimura of Teknaf.

“For Rohingya refugees in camps, losing the internet connection is losing communication with relatives, friends and the international community. If it continues, we worry Bangladesh government can force us to send bank to Myanmar without fulfilment of our demands for our citizenship rights in Myanmar.” added Ali.

Refugees are between Scylla and Charybdis as they have to choose either to be relocated in the floating island or to be repatriated to the killing field. These are the two options where the better is the bitter.

To send report and feedback, please email us at: info@rvisiontv.com.

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