By Md. Kamruzzaman, Anadolu Agency

At least 10 Rohingya killed in crossfire in Bangladesh in last one month, rising concerns over refugee rights

DHAKA, Bangladesh: A Rohingya couple under detention were killed in a late night police shootout in southern Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, the home of above 1.2 million Rohingya refugees, local media reports said Sunday.

The deceased have been identified as Dil Mohammad (38) and his wife Jaheda Begum (27), residents of Leda Rohingya makeshift settlements in the district.

Police have accused the deceased of having links with robbers and claimed that they had been killed in crossfire during an anti-robbery drive.

According to media reports, at least 10 Rohingya people, including the latest couple, have been reportedly killed in crossfire with police in last one month, marking the highest record extrajudicial killings of the persecuted Rohingya people in host country in a month.

In the last two years since the Rohingya exodus in August 2017 in Bangladesh, at least 40 Rohingya people have been killed in crossfire, or police shootout in the host country.

The killings have raised questions about the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh whose prime minister gained the title of “Mother of Humanity” for hosting the world’s most persecuted people and for “sharing food” with them.

In a statement issued on Sept. 18, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) identified the decades-old conventional statement on crossfire by Bangladeshi law enforcers as a “familiar explanation [which] is often a euphemism for extrajudicial executions”.

Terming the extrajudicial killings of Rohingya refugees in host country an unfortunate matter, rights activist Nur Khan urged the law enforcers to be more careful to “avoid this unlawful practice”.

“Mass people as well as we doubt whether it was really crossfire or killing of people in cold blood by law enforcers,” Khan told Anadolu Agency.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed, more than 34,000 were thrown into fires and over 114,000 others were beaten by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.