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Three Rohingya refugees found dead in sea after boat capsizes


The Indonesian authorities called off the search for survivors from a capsized boat near Aceh province after discovering the bodies of three Rohingya refugees in the sea, as reported by the provincial search and rescue agency on Sunday.
According to an AP report, the boat, which had overturned, left 75 individuals stranded on its hull overnight before being rescued by fishers and a search and rescue team on Thursday. Among the survivors were 44 men, 22 women, and nine children, with some requiring medical attention at a local hospital while the majority were relocated to a temporary shelter in Aceh Barat district. Some of the rescued refugees shared that they had lost family members during the journey.
Chief of Banda Aceh Search and Rescue Agency, Al Hussain, disclosed that the bodies of two adult women and a boy, believed to be Rohingya refugees from the sunken boat, were found by the search team. “After we searched the area, the team found three bodies, two adult women and one boy. They are allegedly Rohingya refugees who were the passengers of the capsized and sunken boat,” said Hussain.
Faisal Rahman, a UNHCR staff member in Aceh, mentioned that survivors assisted in identifying the deceased individuals, aiding in the verification process.
Reports from local authorities in Aceh indicated additional sightings of deceased individuals in the nearby waters since the incident. UN agencies expressed concerns over approximately 70 Rohingya refugees who are feared missing or deceased following the boat’s tragic sinking. The refugees had embarked on a perilous sea journey from Bangladesh, seeking refuge in Indonesia. The Rohingya community in Bangladesh, primarily consisting of around 1 million individuals, fled Myanmar in 2017 to escape severe persecution by Myanmar’s security forces, leading to allegations of widespread atrocities.
While Indonesia, along with Thailand and Malaysia, is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it often extends temporary shelter to refugees encountering distress.

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