At Least 1,000 Rohingya Stuck At Sea, Says Amnesty International

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Jakarta- At least 1,000 Rohingya are stranded at sea as Southeast Asian nations tighten their borders to keep out the new coronavirus, Amnesty International said on Friday, urging action to ensure they were not buried in an “invisible graveyard” at sea.

Rights groups believe at least two boats carrying Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority from Myanmar, are off the coast of the Indonesian province of Aceh, but officials said they had no clear information.

Spokesmen for the Western Fleet of the Indonesian navy as well as Aceh’s disaster mitigation agency and search and rescue team told Reuters they were trying to confirm the location of the vessels.

Refugees from two other boats landed in Bangladesh since mid-April, many starving and emaciated after weeks at sea. Survivors from one said dozens died on board. Saad Hammadi, from the South Asia Regional Office of Amnesty International, said the refugees could have been sailing for several weeks or even months without food or water.

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