Experts, activists urge Bangladesh to dismantle barbed wire fence around Rohingya camps
Refugees have been complaining that the barbed wire fence adversely impacted their lives and livelihoods
UN experts and human rights activists have urged the Bangladesh government to immediately dismantle the barbed wire fencing that had trapped people trying to escape a deadly fire in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.
The authorities embarked on plans for barbed wire fencing in September 2019, justifying the army-led project by claiming "security" concerns, said a statement released by the Remove the Fence campaign on Tuesday.
With an objective to restrict the movement of the Rohingya refugees, it said, 80% of the fencing had been completed in early 2021, involving over 142km of fencing.
"Nothing justifies constructing barbed wire fences around places where human beings live," said Yanghee Lee, the former UN special rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar.
"I was utterly shocked to see barbed wire fences being constructed during my last visit to Cox's Bazar in January 2020,” she said.
More than a dozen people had died and scores of others were injured in a massive fire that ripped through a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar on March 22 this year.
Refugees have been complaining that the barbed wire fence adversely impacted their lives and livelihoods, said the statement.