The UN voiced alarm Friday over India's deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar despite warnings they could face persecution in a country where the military is accused of genocide against the Muslim minority.
The UN refugee agency said it was "greatly concerned" for the safety and security of the seven men who were returned to Myanmar from India on Thursday.
The men, who had been in detention for immigration offences since 2012, were handed over to Myanmar authorities at a border crossing in India's northeast state of Manipur.
Before their deportation, the United Nations had expressed concern that returning the men ignored the danger they faced in Myanmar, where for decades the Rohingya have been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.
UNHCR said the Indian authorities had not responded to its request that they assess the men's claims to international refugee protection in the country.
"UNHCR regrets that the agency did not receive a response to this request and was unable to secure access for a lawyer from a state legal service," agency spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva.
"UNHCR continues to seek clarifications from the authorities on the circumstances under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar," he said.
He said the UN agency was "concerned that they did not have access to legal counsel, were not given the chance to access asylum processing and have their claims assessed in India."
The UN special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, warned India on Tuesday that it risked breaking international laws on refoulement -- the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they could be harmed.