Bangladesh blocks Myanmar’s Muslim refugees from SIM cards


Rohingya Refugee in Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees arriving Bangladesh are denied mobile communication for now.

KM Asad/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As Myanmar’s Muslim minority escape an alleged “ethnic cleansing” to Bangladesh, they find new problems in their new home.

The Bangladeshi government has banned its carriers from selling SIM cards to Rohingya refugees, reports AFP, citing security concerns. Anyone flouting the rule will face a fine.

The sales ban doesn’t apply only to the Rohingya. Bangladeshis without an official identity card aren’t able to sign up for a phone plan either. The government is doing this as part of a crackdown on homegrown militants, says AFP.

“We took the step [of welcoming the Rohingya] on humanitarian grounds, but at the same time, our own security should not be compromised,” said Tarana Halim, a junior telecoms minister. He did not…

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