Bangladesh police detained at least 450 Rohingya Muslims celebrating Eid on a beach on Wednesday.
Police spokesman Rafiqul Islam said that officers conducted raids in the town of Cox’s Bazar on the second day of the Eid holidays.
Islam added that the operation was part of security precautions in the country’s largest resort district, drawing millions of tourists during holiday seasons, such as Eid al-Fitr.
“Rohingyas are involved in various crimes. It is unsafe for our tourists. We have strengthened the security of the city. As tourists visit Cox’s Bazar on Eid al-Fitr, we have stepped up patrols to keep them safe,” Islam said.
Islam added that the detained Rohingya Muslims included refugees as young as 13 years old.
Mohammad Ibrahim, one of many Rohingya detainees, said he went to the beach for Eid festivities.
“We are here for fun… But as soon as we arrived, police caught us. We did not do anything wrong. We just sat on the beach,” Ibrahim explained.
Shamsud Douza, Bangladesh’s deputy refugee commissioner, said that the Rohingya Muslims imprisoned would be returned to the camps.
Bangladesh has banned 920,000 largely Rohingya Muslim refugees from leaving camps surrounded by barbed wire in southeast Bangladesh where they have been trapped for nearly five years.
Most Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after a 2017 military offensive in neighboring Myanmar, which resulted in a genocide case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
Rohingya Muslims have refused to go back until they are guaranteed security and equal rights, which Myanmar has failed to promise.
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