15 Burmese nationals released from Manipur jail

Sep 3, 2008 (DVB), Fifteen Burmese nationals released after spending a year in jail in Manipur, India, have been sent to a refugee camp in Chendel district to await a decision on whether they will be deported back to Burma.

According to the Imphal Free Press, the fifteen were detained on 17 August in the border town of Moreh in Manipur and were charged under section 14 of the Foreigners Act which covers offences related to foreign nationals in India without valid documentation.

The men, who said they were migrant workers, were arrested by the Assam Rifles paramilitary group, who then turned them over to the police.

They were released on the orders of the state home department.

The fifteen, who are all Muslims from Arakan state, said they feared for their lives if they were sent back to Burma and have asked permission to be stay in the refugee camp instead of being deported.

Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min

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