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Bangladesh: Investigate murder if leading Rohingya activist in refugee camp

Responding to the killing of leading Rohingya activist Mohib Ullah, who was shot dead this evening in the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said:   

“Mohib Ullah was a leading representative of the Rohingya community, who spoke out against violence in the camps and in support of the human rights and protection of refugees.

“His killing sends a chilling effect across the entire community. The onus is now on the Bangladeshi authorities to expedite an investigation into his murder and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.   

“We call on the Bangladeshi authorities and the UN Refugee Agency to work together to ensure the protection of people in the camps, including refugees, civil society activists and humanitarian workers from both the Rohingya and host community, many of whom have shared concerns about their safety.  

“Violence in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar has been a growing problem. Armed groups operating drug cartels have killed people and held hostages. The authorities must take immediate action to prevent further bloodshed.”   

Drug gangs vie for control of camp    

Mohib Ullah, 48, who led the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, was shot dead at around 8:30pm today at his office in the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar. Mohib Ullah had represented the Rohingya community at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019.    

At least two thousand Rohingya refugees have been forced to flee their shelters to other camps since violence broke out last year between two rival factions seeking to control the illicit trade of contraband drugs inside the camps. On 7 October 2020, around a dozen shelters in Kutupalong refugee camp were burned to the ground.    

Rohingya refugees told Amnesty that the clash broke out between a group that has been operating a drug cartel within the refugee camp and another armed group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) as they vie for control of the camps.    

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