Bangladesh bans two global NGOs over Rohingya repatriation issue


Bangladesh's telecommunications authority has ordered all mobile phone operators to stop telecommunication services and sale of sim cards to nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in Cox's Bazar camps.

Zakir added that the decision was taken for reasons of state security, law and order as well as public safety.

Following the order, BTRC on Monday issued a directive to all the mobile phone operators to stop the sale of SIM cards and mobile phone services at Rohingya camps within seven days.

Rakhine State drew global attention after about 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in 2017, following a military crackdown in response to militant attacks.

He mentioned the ban would massively impact Rohingya existence, disrupting communications between other camps scattered around the border district of Cox's Bazar.

Authorities have detected that 900,000 mobile phone SIM cards were being used by the refugees "in and around the Rohingya camps", Haque said. The notice was issued following allegations of providing mobile phone services to Rohingyas through selling of SIM cards by mobile phone operators defying a government embargo.

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Khan said it was clear that the law is being broken because no one is allowed to obtain a cellphone SIM card without a national identity card or passport, which most refugees don't have.

The two worldwide locations signed a repatriation settlement in November 2017 however a primary be offering to go back used to be rejected by way of refugee camp leaders in October.

"Mobile phones and internet help us to get information from Arakan".

Many say they will not go back unless their security can be guaranteed and they can be sure of being granted citizenship.

Myanmar has denied the accusations, although Min Aung Hlaing said last month a number of security men may have been involved. "If I do not have a mobile phone, how can I stay connected?" said Mohammed Rashid, a refugee who fled to Bangladesh two years ago.

Following the directive, the mobile operators are reported to have weakened their networks in the border areas including Cox Bazar and Bandarban. A Bangladeshi can register a maximum of 15 mobile connections. Officials allege the banned drug was being smuggled into the country from Myanmar. "How we will communicate with our relatives in Myanmar?", Abdur Rahim, a Rohingya leader in Cox's Bazar, told Reuters by phone.