Dec. 28 (UPI) — The federal government of Bangladesh says it’ll transfer a second group of 1,800 Rohingya refugees to an island within the Bay of Bengal, regardless of robust opposition from human rights teams.

Bangladesh despatched greater than 1,600 of the minority Muslim refugees to the distant island of Bhashan Char earlier this month. Officers stated the Rohingya voluntarily departed overcrowded refugee camps, and the federal government stated nobody is being compelled to go to the flood-prone island.

“Immediately, we’ve mobilized 1,772 Rohingyas from 427 households for Chittagong,” a authorities official stated Monday. “This time, the determine is 130 greater than the primary batch [of 1,642].”

Mamun Chowdhury, director of the Bhashan Char Undertaking, stated the island is ready to accommodate the refugees.

“We expect greater than 1,000 individuals [Tuesday],” Chowdhury stated. “Our preparations to make their keep snug have been accomplished.”

Transferring the Rohingya to Bhashan Char, nonetheless, has drawn substantial criticisms.

Native and international humanitarian teams have stated the low-lying island, which has been above sea degree for under 20 years and has by no means been inhabited, is an unsuitable location for the refugees, who fled to Bangladesh to flee violence in Myanmar.

Bangladesh has struggled to give you an answer to the rising variety of refugees, lots of whom are nonetheless residing in crowded circumstances in camps at Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladeshi overseas minister Abdul Momen stated Bhashan Char is “100 instances higher” than the overpopulated camps, the place well being consultants concern a harmful unfold of COVID-19.