Bangladesh slams claims security forces beat Rohingya refugees May 22, 2020 0 740 12345 AFPDhakaBangladesh on Thursday slammed an international rights group’s claim that its security forces beat Rohingya refugees held at a flood-prone island, calling them “baseless”.Some 306 Rohingya rescued by Bangladesh after being stranded at sea for weeks were taken to Bhashan Char -- a silty strip of land in the Bay of Bengal where a severe cyclone has just barrelled through -- earlier this month.Dhaka said the mostly Muslim minority from Myanmar were not sent to camps in Cox’s Bazar in the country’s southeast as authorities were afraid they might have coronavirus.Human Rights Watch alleged in a report Wednesday citing interviews with 25 Rohingya that the refugees have been subject to interrogations and beatings on the island.“They said that those on the island are being confined in prison-like conditions without freedom of movement or adequate access to food, water, or medical care,” the New York-based group said. “Some alleged beatings by Bangladesh security forces.”Human Rights Watch said refugees on the island told them that “soldiers threatened and beat up male refugees, including children, while interrogating them about the smugglers who transported them”.“Women described hearing screams from the interrogation room,” the report added.Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen hit back at the claims and questioned why the allegations were being raised.“They have an evil motive. Why they (Human Rights Watch) are silent about the violence in Myanmar?” he told AFP.“Those who are making such comments they should take them (Rohingya) to their country. If they think they are in discomfort, they should take them to their country and make them happy.”Bangladesh’s junior foreign affairs minister Shahriar Alam told AFP that Human Rights Watch’s reports were “baseless and ill-motivated”.A spokesman for the navy, which is looking after the Rohingya on the island, said the refugees were being “treated very well”.He added that no-one was hurt and there was no damage on the island from Cyclone Amphan, which smashed into Bangladesh and India on Wednesday.UN chief Antonio Guterres last week urged Momen to shift the rescued Rohingya to Cox’s Bazar -- where nearly one million Rohingya live in squalid camps, many after fleeing a 2017 military crackdown -- after a coronavirus quarantine period. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Dozens dead as Cyclone Amphan batters India and Bangladesh May 22, 2020 0 2634 Afghan capital under strict lockdown during Muslim Eid holidays May 22, 2020 0 854 Pakistan police arrest main suspect in killing of teen girls May 22, 2020 0 106 Philippines tops world for online child sex abuse: study AFP Manila The Philippines has become the world’s largest known source of online child sexual exploitation, with endemic poverty helping drive a surge in abuse, a report said Thursday. Parents and relatives were .. Spike in new coronavirus cases puts Gaza on edge AFP Gaza City A wave of coronavirus infections among residents returning to Gaza has more than doubled the number of cases in the strip in recent days, raising fears of a bigger outbreak. The impoverished Palestinian .. 62 Algerians saved from boats off the coast of Spain Madrid The Spanish lifeboat service and the police have rescued a total of 62 migrants from five boats in the Mediterranean within the past two days. The people - all Algerians - were discovered on Wednesday and Thursday .. Palestinian official says CIA information-sharing halted AFP Jerusalem The Palestinian security services will stop sharing information with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in protest at Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a senior official said .. Tunisia to reopen mosques, cafes and hotels on June 4 Tunis Tunisia will reopen places of worship, restaurants and hotels from June 4, authorities announced Thursday, more than two months after closing them over the coronavirus pandemic. The reopening could be delayed if .. Turkey’s Erdogan, Japan’s Abe open Istanbul hospital amidst pandemic DPA Istanbul The leaders of Turkey and Japan opened a new hospital in Istanbul, which they called a symbol of their enduring friendship in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The Basaksehir Cam and Sakura City Hospital ..