Sharing the anxiety of the families and friends of those arrested as their whereabouts, safety and security are not known, CCM has appealed to the Government of Manipur that the suspected Myanmar nationals be treated humanely considering the civil unrest inside Myanmar following the military coup.
The Citizen’s Committee Manipur (CCM) on Tuesday said that about a hundred suspected Myanmar citizens, including women and children, are taking shelter in Churachanpur town after they were arrested in the morning (Tuesday, June 28, 2022). The committee has now appealed the Government of Manipur to treat them “humanely, transparently and by respecting their rights guaranteed by law at every stage of the arrest and detention”.
In a press note issued by its convenor Babloo Loitongbam, CCM said that the committee was informed that these Myanmar nationals were initially kept at the police station but were “not given any food till noon, causing much hardships especially for the children. Till late afternoon they are not produced before any magistrate either. They are reportedly taken to Imphal”.
Sharing the anxiety of the families and friends of those arrested as their whereabouts, safety and security are not known, CCM has appealed to the Government of Manipur that the suspected Myanmar nationals be treated humanely considering the civil unrest and tumultuous situation inside Myanmar following the military coup.
The committee said, “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. Government should respect the well-established principle of non-refoulment and desist from any attempt to forcibly repatriate them”.
“As done by the Government of Mizoram, the Government of Manipur should seriously consider adopting a smarter and more humane response to the refugee crisis. 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 some time before the situation back home comes to some level of normalcy”, said CCM.
CCM also reminded the government that it was how the same government dealt with a similar situation in the past during the 8-8-88 crisis in the neighbouring country. 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”, said CCM.