Around 100 Myanmar nationals arrested in Manipur, CCM appeals govt to treat humanely
Myanmar national in Manipur

Imphal: Following the reports of around 100 Myanmar nationals, including women and children, being arrested in Manipur on Tuesday, Citizens Committee, Manipur (CCM) has appealed the state government to treat them humanely.

In a statement issued by the CCM, convenor Babloo Loitongbam said about a hundred suspected Myanmar citizens taking shelter in Churachandpur district were arrested on Tuesday morning.

However, the CCM has alleged that the Myanmar nationals were initially kept at the police station and not given any food till noon, causing much hardship, especially to the children. Till late on Tuesday, they were not produced before any magistrate either. They are reportedly taken to Imphal, it said.

The CCM said it shares the anxiety of the families and friends of those arrested as their whereabouts, safety and security are not known.

“We appealed the state government that the suspected Myanmar nationals be treated humanely, transparently and by respecting their rights guaranteed by law at every stage of the arrest and detention,” said CCM.

It further stated that considering the civil unrest and tumultuous situation inside Myanmar following the military coup, our brethren and sisters who have fled their home and herds seeking shelter in our land should be treated as refugees and asylum seekers as per international human rights standards and not as illegal immigrants.

The government should respect the well-established principle of non-refoulment and desist from any attempt to forcibly repatriate them, it said.

As done by the government of Mizoram, the CCM further suggested, the government of Manipur should also consider “adopting a smarter and more humane response to the refuge crisis”.

According to the CCM, the first step could be to issuing identity cards for the Myanmar nationals living in the state and setting up designated camps with basic facilities where they can spend sometime before the situation back home comes to some level of normalcy. 

After all, it was how the government of Manipur dealt with similar situation in the past during the 1988 crisis in the neighbouring country, it said.

Manipur shares not only a long border but also a long history with Myanmar. Hence our response to their crisis needs to be nuanced and humane, it added.

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