Amnesty International has joined 49 other human rights organisations to urge Bangladesh government to lift ongoing mobile internet restrictions and halt the construction of barbed wire fencing around the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar District.
The human rights organisations consider these measures threatening to the safety and well-being of the refugees as well as Bangladesh host communities and aid workers, in light of the growing Covid-19 pandemic.
During the danger of the Covid-19 pandemic, unrestricted access to information via mobile and internet communications is crucial for slowing the transmission of the disease and saving the lives of refugees, humanitarian workers, and the general population of Bangladesh. Lifting restrictions will not only enable community health workers to quickly share and receive the most reliable and up-to-date guidance during this evolving pandemic, but will also help in coordination with community leaders.
The organisations urged the government to ensure refugees, local communities, and aid workers alike can freely access mobile and internet communications, in the interest of protecting human rights and public health.