The authorities in Bangladesh have made it illegal for its citizens to get married to Muslims from Myanmar’s Arakan region to prevent in influx of refugees who seek to enter the country via marriage.
In the statement issued by the Bangladeshi Justice Ministry on Thursday, it was also said that Muslims from Arakan would also not be able to marry each other in Bangladesh. This will prevent Muslims from Arakan from applying for Bangladeshi citizenship in these ways.
According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC), there are currently 30,000 Arakanese [a.k.a. Rohingya] Muslims living as refugees. Unofficial figures state their actually numbers to run in the hundreds of thousands.
The Muslim Rohingya community in Myanmar’s Arakan have been forced to live in enclaves and are often subject to attacks from Buddhist extremists.
The government refuses to recognize them as natives of Arakan and left their ethnic group out of a recent census. The Myanmar authorities consider the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Bangladesh on the other hand has been turning persecuted Rohingya away as they flee from violence in their homeland. Many of them fall victim to human traffickers to detain them in secret camps in inhumane conditions until a ransom is paid.
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The language the Rohingya speak is clearly related to the Bengali language of Bangladesh.