Speakers at a plenary session in Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF) on Friday said that the ongoing persecution on the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine State was genocide and should be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague with evidence for an impartial investigation.
The session titled “Rohingyas: Landless Future” was held at 4:30pm at the Cosmic Tent on Bangla Academy premises with US Army War College Research Professor Azeem Ibrahim, former UN under-secretary-general Ameerah Haq, Prof Jeff Kingston from Japan’s Temple University, British journalist Justin Rowlatt, and writer and journalist Michael Vatikiotis as panelists.
DLF’s title sponsor Dhaka Tribune’s Editor Zafar Sobhan moderated the session which discussed different aspects of the major humanitarian crisis.Azeem Ibrahim, author of “The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide”, termed the military atrocity on the Rohingyas a genocide. “It was organised and pre-planned. I believe it is genocide according to the 1948 Genocide Convention. Read more ›
UN member-states on Thursday urged Myanmar authorities to end a military campaign against the Muslim Rohingya in a resolution adopted despite opposition from China, Russia and some regional neighbours.
The General Assembly’s human rights committee overwhelmingly endorsed the measure presented by Muslim countries by a vote of 135 to 10, with 26 countries abstaining. UN member-states said they were “highly alarmed” by the violence and “further alarmed by the disproportionate use of force by the Myanmar forces” against the Rohingya.
The resolution drafted by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called on the government to allow access for aid workers, ensure the return of all refugees and grant full citizenship rights to the Rohingya. It requested that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appoint a special envoy to Myanmar.
Aside from Russia and China, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam voted against the measure as did Syria, Zimbabwe and Belarus, along with Myanmar. The non-binding measure now goes to the full assembly for debate next month. Read more ›
The Rohingya crisis has been documented by the Bangladesh government, UNHCR, and many other global institutions as ethnic cleansing.
Ethnic cleansing is the concept that a minority is mistreated, killed, or forcibly removed from a territory to “cleanse” the region, so to speak. This is evidently forbidden by overflowing number of international human rights treaties and instruments.
Existing conventions and treaties
For instance, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted and opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 2106, (XX) clearly prohibits such activities when done on the basis of race or ethnicity.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment prohibits the mistreatment of people when they are forcibly expelled from their homes and their possessions and property destroyed.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) also speaks of prohibition of such immoral activities. Read more ›
THERE is “mounting evidence of genocide” in Burma (Myanmar) according to a report published this week, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed the need for a “credible and impartial investigation” into alleged abuses against Rohingya Muslims during a one-day state visit.
Speaking during a joint press conference with the Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyidaw on Wednesday, Tillerson said that the US was “deeply concerned by credible reports of widespread atrocities” committed by the country’s Tatmadaw army.
While dozens of American lawmakers have pressured President Donald Trump’s administration to impose targeted sanctions and travel bans against Burma’s military leadership, Tillerson said that sanctions were not “advisable at this time”. Read more ›
BURMA’s (Myanmar) military systematically raped and tortured women and girls as part of their campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Northern Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on Thursday.
The 37-page report documents the gruesome stories of women who have fled the violence and are currently in refugee camps Bangladesh. Many women describe widespread gang-rape. They were also subjected to torture and humiliation and were, in many cases, forced to witness the murder of their young children, spouses, and parents.
“Rape has been a prominent and devastating feature of the Burmese military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” Skye Wheeler, women’s rights emergencies researcher at HRW and author of the report, said in a statement. Read more ›
A United Nations General Assembly committee on Thursday called on Myanmar to end military operations that have “led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights” of Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine state.
The move revived a UN resolution that was dropped last year due to the country’s progress on human rights. The General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, voted 135 in favour, 10 against with 26 abstentions on the draft text that also asks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy on Myanmar.
For 15 years the Third Committee annually adopted a resolution condemning Myanmar’s human rights record, but last year the European Union did not put forward a draft text, citing progress under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi.
However, in the past three months more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar military began an operation against Rohingya militants, who attacked 30 security posts and an army base in Rakhine state on Aug 25.
This prompted the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to put forward a new draft UN resolution, which will now be formally adopted by the 193-member General Assembly next month. The resolution deepens international pressure, but has no legal consequences. Read more ›