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“A Rohingya’s perspective” Bangladesh’s ICC cooperation is crucial for Rohingya justice

A Rohingya’s perspective

Bangladesh’s ICC cooperation is crucial for Rohingya justice

By TUN KHIN

The Daily Star

June 07, 2018


Rohingya refugees stand in an alley of Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on September 28, 2017. Photo: AFP

Since August last year, the world has witnessed how hundreds of thousands of desperate Rohingyas have fled across the border into Bangladesh, bringing with them tales of unimaginable horror. Many of these refugees are my friends and relatives. For the first time, the world has woken up to what we Rohingya have lived with for decades—Myanmar’s systematic and genocidal attempts to wipe us out as a people. Now we need the help of the world, and Bangladesh, to obtain justice.

Last week, Myanmar announced it was establishing an “independent commission of inquiry” to “investigate the violation of human rights and related issues following the terrorist attacks” in Rakhine State in 2017. The fact that Myanmar did not even mention its own military’s abuses speaks volumes of how credible this investigation will be. Over the past years, I have seen Myanmar establish a multitude of similar commissions, always at politically opportune times. In the end, they accomplish very little—they buy Myanmar a modicum of time and international goodwill, but they lead to no genuine accountability or to improvements for the lives of Rohingya people.

It is abundantly clear that Myanmar is both unwilling and incapable of investigating itself. Senior leaders have taken turns to deny the well-documented atrocities carried out by security forces against the Rohingya people. The military has little incentive to punish itself for its own crimes. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto political leader, has dismissed reports of human rights violations and questioned why people have been fleeing in the first place.

There is no question that the international community must play a role in providing justice, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) is increasingly looking like the only real hope. Although Myanmar is not a signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, that does not mean that all avenues are closed—far from it.

In April this year, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court to rule on whether the ICC “can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh,” which is under the jurisdiction of the Court. A ruling affirming such jurisdiction could pave the way for the ICC to investigate Myanmar for the crime against humanity of deportation. Bangladesh, which has already done so much in welcoming refugees, can play a crucial role in making this a reality.

On June 20, a panel of judges will hold a closed-door hearing on the question. The ICC has asked Bangladesh for its opinion on whether it can exercise jurisdiction over the deportation of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh. So far, Dhaka has yet to respond, although the deadline of June 11 is fast approaching.

We are grateful for the generosity of Bangladesh since the crisis erupted. Dhaka has essentially kept its borders open and hosted hundreds of thousands of people in what has already become one of the world’s largest refugee camps. When I visited Cox’s Bazar, I was touched not only by the welcome from officials but also from ordinary people. At the height of the crisis, local Bangladeshis were lining up along the border to offer food to fleeing refugees and spent their own meagre resources on constructing shelters.

But an influx of people of this scale is a strain on any country’s resources. The situation is not sustainable, and the only solution to the root cause of the crisis lies on the other side of the Naf river in Myanmar.

It is important to remember that this crisis has not happened in a vacuum but is just the latest chapter in a long cycle of abuse. In the late 1970s and early 1990s, similar violent campaigns by Myanmar security forces pushed hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to flee into Bangladesh. Each time, Bangladesh struck a deal with Myanmar for the return of refugees, only for renewed violence to force another exodus of people. Each time, it has been Bangladesh that has been forced to deal with a humanitarian crisis that is not of its own making.

My parents were forced to temporarily flee into Bangladesh after Myanmar’s first major anti-Rohingya operation (“Operation Nagamin” or “Operation Dragon King”) in 1978. I myself witnessed similar violence in 1991 shortly before I fled Rakhine State. How many more times will history have to repeat itself before something changes? Unless those responsible for atrocities—regardless of their rank or position—are held to account, Myanmar’s authorities will feel they can commit similar abuses in the future without consequence.

An ICC investigation into mass deportation would be limited and not cover other crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture, persecution or genocide. But in the shorter term, it would be an essential start. Most importantly, it would send a powerful message to Myanmar’s authorities that they are not above the law, and that the world is willing to back up condemnation with genuine action. Separately, we will continue lobbying members of the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the ICC, which would pave the way for a broader mandate.

The current lack of accountability is not just affecting the Rohingya, but also people in other ethnic areas where security forces and armed groups commit war crimes with impunity. In Kachin State, for example, violence has again flared between the military and insurgents, driving thousands from their homes.

By responding in the affirmative to the ICC, Bangladesh could play a major role in making such accountability a reality. I urge Dhaka to do what it can to support the ICC and the Rohingya people—not just for us, but for the fight for justice everywhere.

 

Tun Khin is president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK and a member of the Free Rohingya Coalition.

 

 

To read the Article from the main Publisher website please click below.

https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/human-rights/rohingyas-perspective-1587283

 

Media Release from BROUK “International Development Committee report must spur the UK to act on Rohingya atrocities” Released on 22nd May 2018

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

 For Immediate Release 22nd May 2018

International Development Committee report must spur the UK to act on Rohingya atrocities

 

Today’s report by the International Development Committee of the UK Parliament shines a light on ongoing ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people in Burma and must lead to the UK government taking concrete action, said the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.

The report calls for a “dramatic change” in the UK’s engagement with Burma, in the light of recent ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. The Committee also cites violations in other ethnic conflicts and shrinking space for freedom of the media and civil society as evidence of Burma’s deteriorating human rights situation. 

“This very welcome report must spur the UK government into action. The report clearly spells out that the ethnic cleansing against Rohingya in Burma means the UK cannot continue engaging with the Burmese government as if nothing has changed,” said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK).

“The continued refusal of the UK government and the international community as a whole to take serious action against the Burmese military is sending a dangerous signal that atrocities will be accepted. There is no question that the genocidal policies of the Burmese military are still continuing. The worst of the violence may be over, but our people are still being driven from our homes through forced starvation and systemic discrimination.”

In February, a delegation from the International Development Committee was refused visas to enter Burma at the last minute. Burma has also denied access to other international observers, notable members of the UN Fact-Finding Mission, which was established in 2017 by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to “establish the facts and circumstances” of alleged security force violations

The UK must push for justice

In August 2017, the Myanmar military launched an operation in Rakhine State that was characterised by human rights violations that amounted to crimes against humanity. Thousands of people were killed, hundreds of homes burned down and at least 693,000 people were forced to flee across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh.

So far, the Burmese authorities – both the military and the civilian government headed by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi – have refused to commit to providing justice and hold those responsible for violations to account. BROUK has urged the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court. Since Burma is not a party to the ICC and has not accepted the court’s jurisdiction, only the Security Council can refer the situation to the Court.

“We urge the UK government to do everything it can to ensure that the UN Security Council refers the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court. There must be justice for the crimes against the Rohingya people to break this cycle of abuse. The Burmese military and civilian government are both unable and unwilling to hold perpetrators to account – the hope for accountability now lies with the international community,” said Tun Khin.

 

For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 7888714866.

 

This media release can be download in PDF format at:

http://brouk.org.uk/Media Release from BROUK “International Development Committee report must spur the UK to act on Rohingya atrocities” 22nd-May-2018.pdf

 

Media Release from BROUK “BROUK welcomes Liechtenstein Support for Burma ICC Referral” Released on 2nd May 2018

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

For Immediate Release 2nd May 2018

BROUK welcomes Liechtenstein Support for Burma ICC Referral

 

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK welcomes the support of Liechtenstein for the UN Security Council referring Burma to the International Criminal Court.

Liechtenstein UN Twitter account, @LiechtensteinUN tweeted on 30th April: Amb. Wenaweser at #UN event with @BenFerencz today coveys his hope that #UNSC members will return from their #Myanmar visit with a renewed sense of duty to take action including #ICC referral #ACTcodeofconduct.

https://twitter.com/LiechtensteinUN/status/990977902010404866

Despite overwhelming evidence of large-scale violations of international law against the Rohingya, including evidence from several of the United Nations’ own agencies, members of the United Nations Security Council have refused to support referring Burma to the International Criminal Court. The United Nations has stated that these violations of international law are so serious that they could constitute genocide.

Rohingya organisations worldwide have been calling for years for the UN Security Council to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court. Had they done so, the current crisis might never have happened.

Kachin civil society organisations, also suffering from large-scale violations of international law, have also called on the United Nations Security Council to ‘do their job’ and refer Burma to the International Criminal Court.

http://www.kachinalliance.org/kachin-communities-worldwide-demand-united-nations-security-council-urgently-refers-burma-to-the-international-criminal-court-23rd-april-2018/

“We would like to thank the government of Lichtenstein for supporting a UNSC referral of Burma to the International Criminal Court,” said Tun Khin President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “Lichtenstein is showing principled leadership. We need to build a global consensus, not just of Security Council Membership, but all UN members, to overcome potential opposition by some Security Council members. The UK can’t claim leadership on this issue when it is dragging its feet and refusing to support an ICC referral. It is time Boris Johnson stopped blocking Foreign Office backing for an ICC referral.”

 

For more information please contact, Tun Khi+44 7888714866.

 

This media release can be download in PDF format at:

http://brouk.org.uk/BROUK Media Release 2nd May 2018 “BROUK welcomes Liechtenstein Support for Burma ICC Referral”

 

Media Release from BROUK “I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE” Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya. Release on Wednesday 1st November 2017.

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

Wednesday 1st November 2017

 

‘I Thought I Would Die’ – New Report Details Eyewitness Accounts of Atrocities – Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

 

The Rohingya are currently being targeted by the fourth wave of ethnic cleansing against them in the past five years.

This new report, ‘I Thought I Would Die’ presents evidence of violations of international law being perpetrated against the Rohingya, including attacks on children, indiscriminate use of landmines, random firing on fleeing villagers and the use of rape.  These accounts add to a growing body of evidence which points the finger squarely at the Myanmar security forces.

The sheer frequency and acuity of this kind of abuse against the Rohingya, committed against the backdrop of chronic and decades-old state persecution, point to an ongoing strategy of “systemic weakening” of the ethnic Rohingya community as a whole, which has been argued to be a precursor stage to full-blown genocide.

Since the latest bout of violence against Myanmar’s ethnic Rohingya minority erupted into life on 25th August 2017, the government and military wings of Myanmar’s hybrid government have fallen back on tried and tested narratives of denial. This report provides evidence to prove that the government and military are lying about the current situation.

The report also proposes practical steps the government of Myanmar and the international community should take to stop the violence and address the root causes.

“The evidence of violations of international law against the Rohingya is overwhelming, now we need to see action to hold those responsible to account and end the policies of repression,” said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “The government and military have been lying to the people of Myanmar and the international community, but they can’t hide from the truth forever.”

 

For more information, contact Tun Khin on +44(0)7888714866 OR +1 646 945 9982

The report is available at http://brouk.org.uk/BROUK Report (NOV-2017) “I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE” Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya.

“I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE” Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya, BROUK Report (Nov-2017).

 

Report Nov-2017

 

“I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE”

Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya

 

This report is based on more than a dozen interviews conducted in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh with Rohingya refugees who had arrived from Myanmar since attacks on August 25th. BROUK interviewed six child victims, four rape survivors/victims, a man who was injured by a landmine and two adult civilians who were shot while fleeing their villages. Aall of the cases had been assessed as credible through consultation with officials from NGOs operating in the refugee camps in the area.

As was the case in previous documentation conducted by BROUK in Bangladesh, evidence of gunshot and other weapon wounds were checked against information collected by international NGOs working in the refugee camps, who wish to remain anonymous. Our photographic, video and testimonial evidence was shared with them and with rights experts, from organisations that wish to remain anonymous, for peer review.

Interviewees were consulted through a network supervised by the head of Burmese Rohingya Organisation of the United Kingdom (BROUK), U Tun Khin, in Bangladesh; all were asked a series of questions designed to elicit data according to best practices. The material was translated independently and double-checked by Rohingya speakers.

Analysis of gunshot wounds was sought from either a medical doctor who was not paid for her opinions or checked against available data provided by NGOs who treated victims.

Interviews were conducted in the Kutupalong and Nayapura camps in Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh; discussions mostly took place indoors within a space that would allow for maximum privacy and frankness.

Click on the below link to download the full BROUK Report (NOV-2017) “I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE” Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya, in PDF format:

http://brouk.org.uk/BROUK Report (NOV-2017) “I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE” Physical evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya.pdf

 

 

 

CNN interview with BROUK President Tun Khin on Current Issues & ongoing Genocide of Rohingya in the Arakan State of Myanmar, 9th September 2017.

CNN interview with BROUK President Tun Khin on Current Issues & ongoing Genocide of Rohingya in the Arakan State of Myanmar, 9th September 2017.

In the interview, Tun Khin highlighted the mass killings of Rohingyas by Myanmar military and BGP. He further said, the government troops are not even sparing small children, they Burning the houses and forcing the villagers to flee.

“We are seeing the final stages of genocide against the Rohingya minority. Women have been raped, children’s are been thrown into the fire, Rohingya houses have been burnt down. This is what is happening in there now” Said Tun Khin.

 

 

 

 

“Rohingya Muslims facing world’s most enduring sentiment: bigotry” Tun Khin President BROUK in an interview with “CBCnews” on 8th September 2017.

By Nahlah Ayed, CBC News 

Posted: Sep 08, 2017

“Rohingya Muslims facing world’s most enduring sentiment: bigotry” Tun Khin President BROUK in an interview with “CBCnews” on 8th September 2017.

CBC News

A Rohingya refugee girl stands next to newly arrived refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in Ukhiya on Sept. 6. More than 125,000 refugees have flooded across the border into Bangladesh. The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar largely does not recognize them as citizens. (KM Asad/AFP/Getty Images)


“Discrimination doesn’t come naturally. It is taught.”

With simple, stinging words, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu offered a reminder of how far humans will go in the name of their differences.

His intervention — a rebuke — was an open letter to de facto Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, condemning her refusal to call out the horror endured by the minority Rohingya Muslims in her country.

But within was also an indictment of the world’s muted reaction to the violence against, and extraordinary displacement of, thousands of people who are already labelled the most persecuted minority in the world.

“We know that you know that human beings may look and worship differently — and some may have greater firepower than others,” he writes.

“But none are superior and none inferior … when you scratch the surface we are all the same.”

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu: 'When you scratch the surface we are all the same.' (The Associated Press)

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu: ‘When you scratch the surface we are all the same.’ (The Associated Press)

But to be Rohingya in 2017 is to be the other. It is to face that most enduring and insidious human sentiment: bigotry.

And they are facing it not only in Myanmar, where bigotry is at the root of their longtime effective quarantine, but also from the wider world, where prejudice has long manifested itself as indifference.

“We are friendless in our own country: because we are racially different, we are religiously different and our appearance is different,” says Tun Khin, a U.K.-based Rohingya Muslim activist whose family fled an earlier wave of violence to Bangladesh. He is president of Burmese Rohingya Organization UK.

“We are witnessing the most horrific situation in our history.”

This Aug. 30, 2017 photo shows Rohingya refugees reach for food aid at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Aug. 30. (AFP/Getty Images

This Aug. 30, 2017 photo shows Rohingya refugees reach for food aid at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Aug. 30. (AFP/Getty Images


Long before the latest violence sent 270,000 Rohingyas pouring across the border to Bangladesh, fleeing for their lives, they lived a bleak existence.

Once afforded rights as an ethnic minority among a majority Buddhist population—Khin says Burma once even had a radio station in Rohingya language, and his grandfather served as a parliamentary secretary—things changed following a 1962 military coup.

Since then, their rights have gradually been removed. They have been segregated in the Rakhine state and denied education and freedom of movement.

Though many have been in Burma for generations, they are considered illegals and were effectively stripped of the right to citizenship in 1982. Hundreds of thousands who fled earlier violence haven’t come back.

Rohingya refugees at a crowded camp in 2012 on the outskirts of Sittwe, Myanmar. The UN calls them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Rohingya refugees at a crowded camp in 2012 on the outskirts of Sittwe, Myanmar. The UN calls them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)


“There’s no safety and security… you are living like a hell. [An] open prison.”

And none of this is new. As a persecuted people, they have long been neglected by the world, even when it championed the cause of democracy in Burma.

When elections finally happened in 2015, Rohingya were not allowed to vote. Still they hoped their lot might improve when Aung San Suu Kyi, an opposition activist who was put under house arrest by the military, became the state counsellor.

Khin, who campaigned for her release back then, is bitterly disappointed.

When she was under house arrest, “she mentioned that, ‘please use your liberty to promote ours.’ Now I want to ask Aung San Suu Kyi: Please use your liberty to promote ours.”


Feels well planned

The Myanmar military undertook the current “clearance operations” after Rohingya militants attacked government forces on Aug. 25, killing and injuring many of them.

Rohingya Muslims say they condemn the violence, but the military’s response amounts to collective punishment. Bolstered by Buddhist nationalists, the violence, to the Rohingya, has the feel of being well planned. They believe it is a continuation of a sustained campaign to wipe them out.

Khin calls it ethnic cleansing, a slow genocide.

During earlier flareups, Suu Kyi said ethnic cleansing was “too strong” a term.

myanmar-election-suu-kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi doesn’t have the power to halt military operations, but many of her supporters, including Desmond Tutu, insist she has the moral standing and obligation to do so. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)


This time around, she’s quoted as saying there was a “huge iceberg of misinformation” surrounding the crisis, but that “we have to take care of everybody who is in our country whether or not they are citizen — it is our duty, and we try our best.”

Suu Kyi doesn’t have the power to order a halt to the military’s operations.

But many of her supporters, including Tutu, have insisted she has the moral standing—and obligation—to do so.

They also insist this isn’t a legal or immigration question. It is a human rights question, a dangerous case of mass discrimination, prejudice, racism and ultimately, hate.

“She was the one person in the country who really could have challenged this really ingrained and endemic prejudice against Muslims in the country and Rohingya in particular,” Mark Farmaner, of Burma Campaign UK, told CBC News.

Get to root causes

Her government has kept in place all the policies of the previous military regime, he added. They use “the combination of human rights violations, and deliberate impoverishment, to force Rohingyas to leave.”

This week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres advised getting to the root causes to solve the crisis.

“It will be crucial to give the Muslims of Rakhine state either nationality or, at least for now, a legal status that will allow them to have a normal life—including freedom of movement and access to labour markets, education and health services.”

A Rohingya refugee from Myanmar's Rakhine state holds a baby as she sits in a makeshift shelter after arriving at the Kutupalong refugee camp near the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on Sept. 5. (KM Asad/AFP/Getty Images)

A Rohingya refugee from Myanmar’s Rakhine state holds a baby as she sits in a makeshift shelter after arriving at the Kutupalong refugee camp near the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on Sept. 5. (KM Asad/AFP/Getty Images)


But to the hellish turn of events in the past weeks, world leaders have so far only offered couched words.

Many have only this week expressed concern—or any hint of support for Bangladesh, an already impoverished country that must contend with a huge added responsibility.

World powers continue to support a leader who appears to be maintaining her position at a cost that Tutu described as “surely too steep.”

Khin says some of those countries help train and equip the Myanmar military and can send a powerful message by suspending that support.

Peacekeepers must be sent in, he added. Suspended aid in Rakhine state must be restored. Willing media should be allowed to monitor.

“It’s not a time to condemn by releasing statements and mentioning their concern,” said Khin. “It is time to act.”

 

Click on the below link to read the interview on CBCnews web portal.

“Rohingya Muslims facing world’s most enduring sentiment: bigotry” Tun Khin President BROUK in an interview with “CBCnews” on 8th September 2017.

Tun Khin President BROUK in an interview with “TRT World” on 28th Aug 2017 about current Rohingya sufferings in Rakhine region and Myanmar Tensions.

Myanmar Tensions: Tun Khin discusses the situation inside the closed off Rakhine region where Rohingyas are seriously suffering.

Myanmar security forces intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents on Monday, police and other sources said, following three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving Myanmar’s Muslim minority in five years.

Media Release from BROUK “Urgent Action Needed to Implement Rakhine Commission Recommendations” Release on Thursday 24th August 2017

BROUK PRESS

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)

For Immediate Release Thursday 24th August 2017

Urgent Action Needed to Implement Rakhine Commission Recommendations

Today the Rakhine State Advisory Commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan published their final report on Rakhine state. We, BROUK welcome the recommendations made by the commission, but we are concerned whether the NLD-led government will actually implement them, and call on the international community to ensure that the recommendations are implemented as quickly as possible.

At the top of the government’s agenda should be the revising of the 1982 Citizenship Law in line with “international standards and treaties”, “to ensure full and unimpeded humanitarian access … to all communities in Rakhine State”, to “ensure freedom of movement for all people in Rakhine State, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or citizenship status” and “closing all IDP camps … and ensure that return/relocation is carried out in accordance with international standards”.

The Commission issued its interim report in March with 30 points of recommendations. However, there has been the very little implementation of those recommendations, and even those where the action was taken were not done in a proper manner, for example, proper support for those moved from camps. There is little political willingness to solve the Rohingya issue from the Burmese Military, NLD government and Rakhine State government. In fact, they are all currently escalating tensions and increasing the likelihood of further violence.

Rising tensions, instability, and any further violence is likely to be used as an excuse by authorities for not implementing recommendations.

It is time now for the international community to put collective pressure on the government in Burma to implement the recommendations submitted by the Kofi Annan Commission.

BROUK President Tun Khin said, “The international community has supported the Kofi Annan commission but unless they now pressure the government to implement the recommendations without delay, the whole process will have been a waste of time. We also need to see action on the serious human rights violations committed by the Burmese army, which was not covered by the Commission.”

For more information, please contact:

Tun Khin +44 7888714866.

 

Click on the below link to download the Press-Release in PDF format:

Media Release from BROUK “Urgent Action Needed to Implement Rakhine Commission Recommendations” Release on Thursday 24th August 2017

Media Release From BROUK on REPORT “Burned, Stabbed and Shot – Physical Evidence of Atrocities Committed against the Rohingya”. issued on 16th May 2017.

BROUK MEDIA

 

Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

For Immediate Release Tuesday 16th May 2017

Burned, Stabbed and Shot – Physical Evidence of Atrocities Committed against the Rohingya

A new report, Burned, Stabbed and Shot – Physical Evidence of Atrocities Committed against the Rohingya, published today by Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK documents physical evidence of atrocities committed against the Rohingya by the Burmese Army.

On October 9th, 2016, the long saga of oppression endured by Myanmar’s Rohingya minority entered a new phase. For the first time in a generation, members of the group staged an armed attack, on this occasion against three Border Guard posts, killing nine.

The assault was answered with months of systematic and widespread violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s military. A “flash report” released by the UN’s Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on February 3 concluded that these operations likely involved crimes against humanity; the paper detailed acts of “devastating cruelty” including systematic rape, torture and killing.

The report contains further evidence advances the civilian population was targeted in an organised manner by state forces which systematically targeted civilians, including children, in a campaign of killing and cruelty.

What is new about the material contained in this report is that it documents, through photographs, testimony and forensic analysis, physical evidence of attacks against civilians.

One case study is of a boy aged 8 who was burnt when soldiers set fire to his home after killing his father.

Another case study is of a 16-year-old who was shot in the back whilst running away when the Burmese Army attacked his village.

The report argues that the international community must not allow the obstruction of the Fact-Finding Mission by the government of Burma to lead to further impunity for crimes being committed. If obstructed by the government, the Mission must collect evidence by other means, and this report demonstrates that it is possible to collect evidence in neighbouring countries.

The report contains detailed practical recommendations of steps the government of Burma should take to address the situation.

“For the past 20 years the international community has failed to act when the government of Burma has ignored recommendations about the Rohingya in UN General Assembly Resolutions, UN Human Rights Council Resolutions, and by Special Rapporteurs,” said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “This must not be allowed to happen again after the Fact Finding Mission reports. This time we need action or we’ll keep seeing this kind of abuses over and over again.”

 

For more information please contact Tun Khin +44 7888714866

 

Click on the below link to download the Press-Release in PDF format:

Press-Release from BROUK on a new report issued on 16th May 2017