School of Law

Internet blackouts in the Rohingya refugee camps

10 September 2019

The Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh could lose all connection with the outside world as the Bangladesh government plan to restrict mobile service in the camp. Dr Ronan Lee said the conditions for Rohingya refugees are: “Grim, in a word. Life is as tough as it could possibly be.” Approximately 1.1 million refugees escaped Myanmar, with very few possessions, living underneath tarpaulin and bamboo. The way for the refugees to communicate is across mobile networks and it also helps them get their messages to the outside world. The Bangladesh telecoms minister says they are taking down this service due to security reasons, however, Dr Lee advised: “What’s important here is not to limit people’s access to the outside world. It’s to make it better”. This restricts the refugees from being able to communicate their fears and concerns while they are in a vulnerable position.

Watch the interview here [from 12:22].