Saudi Arabia deporting scores of Rohingya immigrants to Bangladesh

Saudi Arabia administration on Sunday lined up scores of Rohingya immigrants at Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah for deportation. Many of these Rohingyas had been living in the gulf country for more than five to six years. Those who resisted the process, were put in handcuffs.

Several videos from the detention centre in Jeddah have been leaked on social media by various detainees. According to a video footage sent to Middle East Eye, a detainee, speaking in Rohingya, could be heard saying, that he has been in Saudi Arabia for the past six years and is now being sent to Bangladesh, where he, like other Rohingya, will become refugees.

“I’ve been here for the last five to six years, now they are sending me to Bangladesh. Please pray for me,” he said.

Another voice note said: “They came to our cells in the middle of the night, telling us to pack our bags, and get ready for Bangladesh. They put handcuffs on me and now making us wait.”

According to Rohingya activist Nay San Lwin, if these Rohingya detainees are released in Saudi Arabia, they can support their families held in refugee camps in Bangladesh, instead of being deported to Bangladesh.

“They are not criminals to be held in handcuffs, and I am very sad to see them being treated like criminals by the Saudi authorities… Now they will be sent to refugee camps and will increase the number of refugees in Bangladesh,” Lwin was quoted as saying.

Many Rohingya locked up in the Shumaisi detention centre reportedly went to Saudi Arabia on Bangladeshi passports, obtained via fake documents. Some of them have also reportedly entered the country on passports from Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Nepal.