‘Rohingya refugees can’t leave island’

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees on a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal will not be allowed to leave unless they agree to return home, Bangladesh authorities said on Thursday.

The 306 Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar were put on Bhashan Char island in April after being taken off two boats trying to traffic them to Malaysia.

Their plight has been taken up by the United Nations, which wants them moved to more established refugee camps on the mainland. “They will stay at Bhasan Char until they are repatriated to Myanmar,” Mohammed Khorshed Alam Khan, administrator for the district covering the island, said.

He said the refugees are well taken care of and have better facilities than in the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar.

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