Bangladesh bans marriages for Rohingya Muslim refugees

July 11, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

DHAKA: Bangladesh said yesterday it has barred official marriages between its nationals and Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya refugees, whom it claims are attempting to wed to gain citizenship.

Law minister Syed Anisul Haque said he had ordered marriage registrars not to officiate any unions between Bangladeshis and Rohingyas and between Rohingyas, thousands of whom have fled to Bangladesh.

He said Rohingyas try to use the wedding certificate to gain Bangladeshi passport and other documents, while Rohingyas who marry Bangladeshis could automatically qualify for citizenship.

“By registering their marriage in Bangladesh they try to prove that they’re Bangladeshi citizens,” he said.

“We’ve told marriage registers not to list any marriage of Rohingyas and between Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Bangladesh.”

Law Ministry spokesman Abdullah Al Shahin said marriage registrars had been warned of punitive action if they officiate any such marriages.

There are around 300,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh’s southern coastal districts bordering Myanmar who have fled alleged persecution in the Buddhist-majority nation since the 1990s. AFP