Jakarta (ANTARA) - Ministry of Law and Human Rights' Director General of Human Rights, Dhahana Putra, stated that the handling of Rohingya refugees in Indonesia should prioritize universal humanitarian aspects while still considering the interests of local communities.

"Seeing the resistance against Rohingya refugees, it is necessary to intensify communication with IOM (International Organization for Migration), UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency), and neighboring countries to avoid another issue arising in local communities, especially in Aceh," Putra remarked in his statement on Saturday.

He noted that the Indonesian government has not ratified the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees. Hence, based on humanitarian grounds, Indonesia is still temporarily accommodating Rohingya refugees that is also due to the non-refoulement principle recognized as customary international law.

The principle prohibits a country from refusing or expelling refugees from other countries from returning to their country of origin or to a region where the refugees have the potential to face threats and endanger their freedom of race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.

"The principle of non-refoulement prohibits the country from returning or expelling refugees to their country of origin or other countries that have the potential to persecute or torture them," Putra explained.

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Hence, he emphasized that Rohingya refugees will only stay temporarily in Aceh.

"They will be here (in Indonesia) temporarily until UNHCR determines their status as refugees and will be placed in third countries or countries receiving Rohingya refugees," he stated.

During their stay in Indonesia, they are obligated to follow laws, regulations, and local wisdom values that apply in Indonesia to avoid social problems that cause disturbances, Putra remarked.

"We hope that all parties can refrain from provocative actions that could worsen the situation in handling those refugees," he noted.

Meanwhile, acts of violence against Rohingya refugees have become the focus of the international community. Several international media organizations have reported on the incident at the Balee Meuseuraya Aceh.

"We hope such things will not happen again in the future," he stated.

Related news: Need to promptly resolve root problem of Rohingya refugees: Marsudi

Translator: Narda Margaretha S, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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