Fleeing Rohingya detained in Malaysia

December 6, 2018 - 1:30

TEHRAN - With Rohingya Muslims attempting to flee Myanmar to escape persecution, a boat carrying 20 men believed to be Rohingyas landed on Indonesia's Sumatra Island on Tuesday, according to reports.

It was not immediately clear if the boat had originated in Myanmar or Bangladesh, reports noted. The men were immediately detained.

Thousands of Rohingya landed in Indonesia and Malaysia in 2015 after they were left stranded in the Andaman Sea in the wake of a crackdown on smugglers.

Myanmar authorities have recently been stopping scores of boats filled with Rohingya migrants attempting to sail to Malaysia.

According to a report in Reuters, Rohingyas were fleeing cramped refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, where over 700,000 of them have been huddled after escaping a brutal military crackdown launched last year in Rakhine state.

The United Nations has accused Myanmar's military of carrying out a brutal crackdown with genocidal intent.

Last month, authorities in Myanmar had seized a boat carrying 93 people fleeing from Rohingya camps in Rakhine state, one of several boats attempting the journey to Malaysia.

Myanmar regards Rohingya as illegal migrants from the Indian subcontinent and has denied them basic human rights.

More than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh last year fleeing an army crackdown in the north of Rakhine State, according to UN agencies.

The latest departures come as Myanmar prepares to take some of the refugees back after agreeing with Bangladesh to start repatriations on Nov 15, despite widespread opposition from global aid groups, who say that the time isn't ripe for their repatriation.