Bangladesh: Rohingya camps fenced with barbed wire to punish refugees

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Since late 2019, the Bangladeshi government has placed fences and barbed wire around several camps in Cox’s Bazar, which are home to more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees. In May 2021, after several fires in the region left at least 15 dead, a collective was formed on Twitter to campaign against these fences and the danger they pose to refugees.

‘It’s a very heavy-handed way to treat people who have experienced genocide’

Our observer, Shafiur Rahman, participates in the online “Remove the Fence” campaign from London:

What has been established are barbed wire pillars and barbed wire itself, as well as concertina razor wire. These are very difficult to negotiate, and children find them very attractive, as they are all coiled up. Children want to crawl inside and play. They have nowhere to play, so they are cut off when they go in. The installation had no idea what would make certain services accessible or less accessible. People have had to move their homes to be in the barbed wire area. They have to walk much longer distances. Going to the clinic has become a very difficult task for the elderly, the sick, pregnant women. It punishes refugees. It is a very heavy-handed way to treat people who have experienced genocide and who are just as vulnerable as they are.