Human Rights Council Side-event - "Human Rights in Myanmar: Ethnic Cleansing"

Human Rights Council

Thirty-Sixth Session

 

The situation in Myanmar is alarmingly deteriorating. Myanmar government is repeatedly condemned for grave breaches of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. However, mass atrocities against Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State continue to these days and seriously worsened within the last month. The government fails to ensure the halt of violence and protection from abuse against ethnic minorities, particularly Rohingya religious minority.

The incitement to discrimination and violence based on national, racial and religious hatred is widespread and systematic. Within the general context of anti-Muslim rhetoric, the security forces have implemented persecution policies for decades. Ethnic minorities are targeted within the so-called “Burmanization” policy and the most shocking is the case of Rohingya. For centuries the Rohingya community of approximately 1.3 million members mostly live in Rakhine State with historical roots in Myanmar dating back to ancient times. Nevertheless, the government refuses to give them the nationality and instead it uses the term “Bengali” to refer to Rohingya as foreigners.

Over 100,000 ethnic minority Rohingya have taken a perilous journey to leave the country by sea; the Rohingya are fleeing horrific Apartheid-like conditions where 140,000 are confined in what many describe as "concentration camps".   It is estimated some 350,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in search of protection in Bangladesh, including an estimated 74,000 who arrived in late 2016 as a result of a security crackdown in northern Rakhine State.  According to UNHCR, in less than three weeks over 270,000 people have fled to Bangladesh, three times more than the 87,000 who fled the previous operation.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein pointed out the situation as “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Therefore, the silence of Nobel-prize winner, the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, is outrageous. As Desmond Tutu rightly put it “silence is too high a price”. The widespread, systemic and organised abuse of Rohingya minority in Myanmar with an obvious intent to destroy this group may amount to the international crime of genocide. The persecution of this ethnic group since 1982 in combination with the widespread criminal acts committed against them since 2012 fulfil the elements of genocide as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Genocide Convention.

During the side event, the panellists will examine widespread and systematic violations and give an overview of the Myanmar government’s actions to ensure protection from and halt of mass atrocities taking place against this minority. Lastly, the panellists will brainstorm recommendations for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and possible UN actions based on Chapter VII of the Charter to restore peace and security, including referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.


Please click here to read the full summary of the side-event on the GICJ website.

Read online or download the full report.

Leer en línea o Descargar el Reporte Completo.


Articles on Myanmar by GICJ

Abuses Against Rohingya are Understated by Annan Report The Plight of Rohingya in Myanmar is Ignored Discussion on Myanmar at the Human Rights Council Jamalida Begum – Rohingya Survivor Escapes Horror
Human Rights Council Side-event -
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Human Rights Council

Thirty-Sixth Session

 

The situation in Myanmar is alarmingly deteriorating. Myanmar government is repeatedly condemned for grave breaches of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. However, mass atrocities against Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State continue to these days and seriously worsened within the last month. The government fails to ensure the halt of violence and protection from abuse against ethnic minorities, particularly Rohingya religious minority.

The incitement to discrimination and violence based on national, racial and religious hatred is widespread and systematic. Within the general context of anti-Muslim rhetoric, the security forces have implemented persecution policies for decades. Ethnic minorities are targeted within the so-called “Burmanization” policy and the most shocking is the case of Rohingya. For centuries the Rohingya community of approximately 1.3 million members mostly live in Rakhine State with historical roots in Myanmar dating back to ancient times. Nevertheless, the government refuses to give them the nationality and instead it uses the term “Bengali” to refer to Rohingya as foreigners.

Over 100,000 ethnic minority Rohingya have taken a perilous journey to leave the country by sea; the Rohingya are fleeing horrific Apartheid-like conditions where 140,000 are confined in what many describe as "concentration camps".   It is estimated some 350,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in search of protection in Bangladesh, including an estimated 74,000 who arrived in late 2016 as a result of a security crackdown in northern Rakhine State.  According to UNHCR, in less than three weeks over 270,000 people have fled to Bangladesh, three times more than the 87,000 who fled the previous operation.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein pointed out the situation as “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Therefore, the silence of Nobel-prize winner, the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, is outrageous. As Desmond Tutu rightly put it “silence is too high a price”. The widespread, systemic and organised abuse of Rohingya minority in Myanmar with an obvious intent to destroy this group may amount to the international crime of genocide. The persecution of this ethnic group since 1982 in combination with the widespread criminal acts committed against them since 2012 fulfil the elements of genocide as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Genocide Convention.

During the side event, the panellists will examine widespread and systematic violations and give an overview of the Myanmar government’s actions to ensure protection from and halt of mass atrocities taking place against this minority. Lastly, the panellists will brainstorm recommendations for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and possible UN actions based on Chapter VII of the Charter to restore peace and security, including referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.


Please click here to read the full summary of the side-event on the GICJ website.

Read online or download the full report.

Leer en línea o Descargar el Reporte Completo.


Articles on Myanmar by GICJ

Abuses Against Rohingya are Understated by Annan Report The Plight of Rohingya in Myanmar is Ignored Discussion on Myanmar at the Human Rights Council Jamalida Begum – Rohingya Survivor Escapes Horror

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