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Detained Burmese Refugees released from jail and allowed exit permit by Calcutta High Court

Date : 16/12/2006

India does not have a law applicable to refugees, despite it being host to the largest population of refugees in the world. A Draft of Refugee Bill is still pending, rendering refugees in India prone to sufferings and deportation risks.

In a rare case, filed by the lawyers of HRLN for protecting two Burmese refugee students’ right of non-refoulement, the Calcutta High Court, recognizing non-citizen’s right to life and the right not to be deported when feared persecution in their country, granted relief and facilitated their release from jail and to go to safe country of their choice.

Two young Burmese refugees in year 2006 had fled from Maynmar fearing persecution as they belonged to National League for Democracy. On their way to Delhi they were arrested near Kolkata and after 3 years of trial they were convicted under Section 14 Foreigners Act, and were directed to be deported to Mayanmar.

As deportation was in process, a Writ petition was filed by the lawyers of HRLN, Kolkata, on behalf of the said two students, praying for stay on deportation and to permit them to go to Sweden that had allowed them political Asylum. Even though India had not signed or ratified the UN Convention on Refugees, the High Court recognized and established a non-citizen’s right to life and the right not to be deported when feared persecution in their country. They were finally allowed to go to Sweden with the help of UNHCR.

For further details, please contact:
Advocate Debashish Banerjee
Human Rights Law Network, Kolkata, West Bengal
Telephone: 09831278842
Email :

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