Bangladesh sends hundreds more Rohingya refugees to island

Rohingya refugees arrive at the Chittagong boat club to board naval vessels that will take them to Bhasan Char island, in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2012. Thousands have been relocated on the island in the Bay of Bengal from crammed camps near the Myanmar border.

Bangladesh on Thursday began relocating hundreds of Rohingya refugees to an island in the Bay of Bengal, despite ongoing concerns from rights groups over the conditions on the vulnerable low-lying island and that no refugees should be sent forcibly.

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group, over 700,000 of whom fled persecution and violence in neighboring Myanmar in August 2017. Bangladesh has been sheltering 1.1 million of the refugees in crowded camps near its coast.

A U.N.-sponsored investigation in 2018 recommended the prosecution of Myanmar’s top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the violence against the Rohingya.