Bangladesh bans marriages for Rohingya refugees

Published July 11, 2014
Photo shows a family of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.—Photo: UNHCR
Photo shows a family of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.—Photo: UNHCR

DHAKA: Bangladesh said on Thursday it has barred official marriages between its nationals and Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya refugees, whom it claims are attempting to wed to gain citizenship.

Law minister Syed Anisul Haque said he has ordered marriage registrars not to officiate any unions between Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas and also between Rohingyas themselves, thousands of whom have fled to Bangladesh.

He said Rohingyas try to use the resulting wedding certificate to gain Bangladeshi passports and other documents, while Rohingyas who marry Bangladeshis could automatically qualify for citizenship.

“By registering their marriage in Bangladesh they try to prove that they’re Bangladeshi citizens,” he said.

“We’ve told the marriage registers not to list any marriage of Rohingyas and also between a Rohingya and a Bangladeshi citizen in Bangladesh. “Law ministry spokesman Abdullah Al Shahin said marriage registrars have been warned of punitive action if they officiate any such marriages.

There are around 300,000 Rohingyas living in Bangladesh’s southern coastal districts bordering Myanmar who have fled alleged persecution in the Buddhist-majority nation since the 1990s.

Sectarian clashes flared up two years ago in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, with fighting that has displaced about 140,000 people, mainly stateless Rohingya Muslims.

Bangladesh recognises only around 28,000 of the refugees in its country, who are entitled to food, basic housing and other aid provided by the United Nations.

The rest of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh live in slums set up in cleared forests and on beaches.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...