Agenda Item 2: Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General
Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in Rakhine State of Myanmar
Statement by: International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ
10 July 2019
We welcome the oral updates of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and we share her concern about the situation of minorities in Myanmar.
Since the outbreak of unprecedented violence against the Rohingya, and despite compelling evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated at the hands of Myanmar military forces, hate speech, discrimination and blatant violations of the most fundamental rights continue unabated in Myanmar.
We are deeply concerned about the restrictions on freedom of worship that adherents to Islam are facing throughout Myanmar, notably in Chauk Township and Rakhine State. Even though the idea of conducting a public vote may seem the most democratic way of taking decisions, we remind all local, regional and central authorities in Myanmar that a public vote may never justify the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in international human rights treaties.
Additionally, a minority can never be denied the right to practice its faith in its sacred places unless the conditions of legality, necessity and proportionality of the restriction are fulfilled. In the present case, it appears clear that the refusal is not justified by any public imperative.
Mr. President, EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly recommend the following:
- Effectively prosecute hate speech against all religious and ethnic minorities, punish the perpetrators with commensurate sanctions;
- We call upon the local, regional and national authorities to immediately put an end to the violation of the freedom of worship for Muslims living in Myanmar.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice