International Desk: Saudi Arabia is planning to deport 250 Rohingya men to Bangladesh, in what will be the second forced deportation by Riyadh this year, an activist group has told Al Jazeera.
Saudi Arabia is home to almost 300,000 Rohingya, according to Nay San Lwin, campaign coordinator for the Free Rohingya Coalition, who urged authorities to stop the deportations, adding that the men faced imprisonment in Bangladesh upon their arrival.
"Majority of these Rohingya have residency permits and can live in Saudi Arabia legally," Nay San Lwin told Al Jazeera.
"But these detainees, who are being kept in the Shumaisi detention centre [in Jeddah], have not been treated like their fellow Rohingya. Instead, they are being treated like criminals."
According to one video obtained by Nay San Lwin, the Rohingya, most of whom arrived in the country several years ago, were being prepared to be taken to Jeddah international airport on Sunday where they would then board direct flights to Dhaka.
He said the men were expected to be flown out either late on Sunday or Monday evening.
Nay San Lwin added that many of the Rohingya entered Saudi Arabia after obtaining passports belonging to countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal through smugglers via fake documents.
Myanmar stripped the Rohingya of their citizenship in 1982, rendering them stateless.
Under the 1982 Citizenship Law, the Rohingya were not recognised as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups, restricting their rights to study, work, travel, marry, vote, practise their religion and access health services.
Saudi Arabia stopped issuing residency permits to Rohingya who entered the country after 2011.
risingbd/Dhaka/Jan 21, 2019/Nasim