Burma_China: 732 Kachin refugees were forcibly relocated to LANA ZUP camp in Kachinland

Dear Friends,

22.august 2012

We have received very terrible news today that 732 Kachin refugees of 156 households from Yang Lu and Lau Hpai refugee camps were forcibly relocating to LANA ZUP camp in Kachinland. Many local Chinese police officers were escorting and guarding along the borders whilst forced relocation have started this morning. The Chinese police have also arrested the journalists who took the photographs and confiscated their cameras.

We also have received a report of the Kachin refugees in Man Hai faced force to return to war zone in the KIA’s 4th Bridge areas [Northern Shan State] today.

According to the KIO official in 3rd Bridge, this force relocation was initiated several times by Chinese Ruili government authority to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). The last meeting with the KIO was attended by Mr. Aik Pan, Chairman of Ruili Judiciary Department, Mr. Ju Chau Gyin, Ruili Police Department and Yang Yau Gaw, Secretary of Ruili Government on 2nd of August 2012. The Ruili government have sought the KIO to persuade to relocate their refugees. The Ruili government event threaten the Kachin refugees in China territory to handover to Burmese authority or force return, if refuse to relocate to the Kachinland’s territory. This pressure for forced relocation is part of systemic abuse of Kachin refugees by the Chinese Ruili local government.

The KIO have no choice, but to provide a camp on available land in Lana Zup, not very far from the Burmese army camp and Chinese border. The Kachin refugees will have no guarantee for their safety. The Burmese army can come and commit any kind of human rights violation in newly build IDP camps due to daily clashes with Burmese army and the Kachin Independence Army in the areas.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress enacted a new Exit-Entry Administration Law on June 30, 2012. For the first time, it adds to domestic law provisions regarding treatment of refugees. What’s the practical significance?

“Article 45. An alien who applies for status as a refugee may stay in China with a temporary identity certificate issued by a public security organ during the screening of his or her application. An alien who is determined to be a refugee may stay and reside in China with a refugee identity certificate issued by a public security organ.”

This provision is symbolically important. For the first time, China’s domestic law reflects its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Under the new provision, persons may apply for refugee status and remain in the country while being screened. Despite the new law was enacted this year, the Chinese Central Government is in favour of accepting vulnerable refugees, the Chinese Ruili local government forced to relocate the refugees to lessen their burden, is a crime and violation newly passed Exit-Entry Administration Law.

This forced relocation by local Chinese government must stop and provide a safe refuge in China soil. We can’t stand the silence. Kachin refugees must fight forced return to Kachinland war zones.

We urge you use your capacity to write to the Chinese government or the UNHCR in Beijing [chibe@unhcr.org] or Hong Kong Office [chiho@unhcr.org] to urge them to stop the Chinese government from force relocation of vulnerable Kachin refugees into danger civil war zones.

For media, we have a contact person in relocation site, please email us if you would like to have contact details.

Sincerely yours,

Information & Public Relations

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