Senior communications assistant, UNHCR Indonesia, Muhammad Yanuar Farhanditya, said that his administration will consistently work with the local authorities to improve the security of shelters to prevent refugees from fleeing.
"Moreover, we are also providing education on the risk of human trafficking and smuggling (that could happen to) refugees if they decide to continue their travel illegally," he added.
He delivered the statement in response to a recent incident wherein 12 Rohingya refugees ran away from the Aceh Social Affairs Office in Ladong. They were caught as they were about to leave for Medan, North Sumatra.
"Some 12 Rohingya refugees who escaped have been returned to the Aceh Social Affairs Office in Ladong," he noted.
He said that as soon as information regarding their capture was received, his administration immediately ensured that the refugees' rights were respected.
"We work with the authorities to ensure that their human rights are still respected and they still have access to protection and seeking for protection," he elaborated.
Head of the Banda Aceh Police Department's Criminal Unit, Fadhillah Aditya Pratama, said that among the people who were caught, one was allegedly an agent who was picking them up and one was a driver. They were placed under heavy surveillance once they were brought to the police station, he said.
"Personnel caught Rohingya refugees in Lambaro, Aceh Besar District, when they were about to get in a car, which allegedly was to go to Medan," he informed.
The Rohingya refugees included Abdul Manan, Mohammad Tareq, Mohammad Hamid, Mohammad Hubaib, Siddek Ahmed, Mohammad Siddiq, Ziyabullah, Rahmatullah, Abul Bosir, Ismail, Mukhtar Husain, and Abdullah.
The agent has been identified as Mohhammed Alam Mohd Sharif, a Myanmar national from the Medan shelter for Rohingya refugees, and the driver has been identified as NS, a resident of Samalanga, Bireuen, Aceh.
"They were caught by the Iskandar Muda Military Intelligence Unit, and then handed to Banda Aceh Police Department for further proceedings," he informed.
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Translator: Khalis Surry, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
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