Action Alert: Myanmar – Write letters demanding action to save the Rohingya of Myanmar

Share/Save/Bookmark
flag_of_myanmar_2007_proposal

The Rohingya are being denied basic rights as Myanmar ‘reforms’ ring hollow

Contents

1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letter

1. Summary

The increasing violence against the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar – already characterised as one of the most persecuted minority in the world – is of great cause concern.

Write to the foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China; and to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr Mutuma Ruteere. Demand that they press the Myanmar government to give equal rights to Rohingya people in Myanmar.

2. Background

In recent months, the Rohingya in Myanmar have been subjected to a heightened campaign of violence, intimidation and racism by the ruling junta and Rakhine extremists. Their persecution has been made more severe – and in many ways enabled – by the lengths that the regime has gone to marginalise them politically.

President Thein Sein has described the Rohingya as being a ‘stateless’ minority, and the responsibility of Bangladesh; declaring their presence in Myanmar as ‘illegal’. Nobel laureate Aung San Su Kyii has also inexplicably asserted that ‘there are no Rohingyas, only Burmese’ in Myanmar. Rohingya activists have rejected these characterisations as linked to a policy of dehumanisation through denying them rights as citizens.

On 3 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked and killed ten Muslims travelling by bus in Arakan. This attack was been succeeded by a spate of other attacks and instances of discrimination and racism targeting Muslims in Myanmar.

One occasion, on 9 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked Rohingyas in Sittwe. The majority of Rohingya villages and homes were destroyed, and many Mosques also destroyed – with homes and businesses being looted in the process.

Throughout July, over five hundred Rohingyas from Maung Daw and Buthidaung were arrested – with many being tortured and denied food and water. In Buthidaung, forty-three Rohingya Muslims were found buried in a mass grave outside of Buthidaung prison on 24 July.

Elsewhere in the country, the Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) has instructed the Rakhine to refuse selling rations to Rohingyas. In Maungdaw, Muslims have been prevented from praying in local Mosques.

These instances all reflect a growing intensity of the ongoing persecution of Myanmar’s 1.5 million Muslims. As the international community celebrates the entrance of Aung San Suu Kyi onto Myanmar’s political scene,  the persecution and killing of Rohingyas has escalated. In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi’s comment that there are no Rohingyas in Myanmar illustrates the racist undertones of her silence – which is based upon dehumanisation and segregation.

3. Action Required

IHRC requests its campaigners and supporters to write letters and emails to the foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Yang Jiechi; and to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr Mutuma Ruteere. Demand that they act to prevent the further massacre and persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

4. Sample letter
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a) Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Yang Jiechi.

Mr Yang Jiechi,
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
No. 2, Chaoyangmen Nandajie,
Chaoyang District,
Beijing,
CHINA

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Dear Mr Yang Jiechi,

Re: The killing and persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

I am writing to bring to your attention the heightened campaign of persecution targeting the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

In recent months, the Rohingya in Myanmar have been subjected to a heightened campaign of violence, intimidation and racism by the ruling junta and Rakhine extremists. Their persecution has been made more severe – and in many ways enabled – by the lengths that the regime has gone to marginalise them politically.

President Thein Sein has described the Rohingya as being a ‘stateless’ minority, and the responsibility of Bangladesh; declaring their presence in Myanmar as ‘illegal’. Rohingya activists have rejected this characterisation, which is linked to a policy of dehumanisation through denying them rights as citizens.

On 3 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked and killed ten Muslims travelling by bus in Arakan. This was in response to news that three Muslims were in police custody on suspicion of raping a Rakhine Buddhist woman. This attack was been succeeded by a spate of other attacks and instances of discrimination and racism targeting Muslims in Myanmar.

One occasion, on 9 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked Rohingyas in Sittwe. The majority of Rohingya villages and homes were destroyed, and many Mosques also destroyed – with homes and businesses being looted in the process.

Throughout July, over five hundred Rohingyas from Maung Daw and Buthidaung were arrested – with many being tortured and denied food and water. In Buthidaung, forty-three Rohingya Muslims were found buried in a mass grave outside of Buthidaung prison on 24 July.

Elsewhere in the country, the Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) has instructed the Rakhine to refuse selling rations to Rohingyas. In Maungdaw, Muslims have been prevented from praying in local Mosques.

These instances all reflect a growing intensity of the persecution of Myanmar’s 1.5 million Muslims. I ask that the Chinese government denounce the government of Myanmar and condemn the recent spate of killings, arrests, looting and destruction of property.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]
b) UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr Mutuma Ruteere.
Mr Mutuma Ruteere,
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,
SWITZERLAND
   
[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Dear Mr Mutuma Ruteere,

Re: The killing and persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

I am writing to bring to your attention the heightened campaign of persecution targeting the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

In recent months, the Rohingya in Myanmar have been subjected to a heightened campaign of violence, intimidation and racism by the ruling junta and Rakhine extremists. Their persecution has been made more severe – and in many ways enabled – by the lengths that the regime has gone to marginalise them politically.

President Thein Sein has described the Rohingya as being a ‘stateless’ minority, and the responsibility of Bangladesh; declaring their presence in Myanmar as ‘illegal’. Aung San Suu Kyi – a Nobel laureate – is reported to have said that “there are no Rohingyas, only Burmese”. Rohingya activists have rejected such characterisations, regarding them as linked to a policy of dehumanisation through denying them rights as citizens.

On 3 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked and killed ten Muslims travelling by bus in Arakan. This was in response to news that three Muslims were in police custody on suspicion of raping a Rakhine Buddhist woman. This attack was been succeeded by a spate of other attacks and instances of discrimination and racism targeting Muslims in Myanmar.

One occasion, on 9 June, Rakhine Buddhists attacked Rohingyas in Sittwe. The majority of Rohingya villages and homes were destroyed, and many Mosques also destroyed – with homes and businesses being looted in the process.

Throughout July, over five hundred Rohingyas from Maung Daw and Buthidaung were arrested – with many being tortured and denied food and water. In Buthidaung, forty-three Rohingya Muslims were found buried in a mass grave outside of Buthidaung prison on 24 July.

Elsewhere in the country, the Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) has instructed the Rakhine to refuse selling rations to Rohingyas. In Maungdaw, Muslims have been prevented from praying in local Mosques.

These instances all reflect a growing intensity of the persecution of Myanmar’s 1.5 million Muslims. I ask that as UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, you denounce the government of Myanmar and condemn the recent spate of killings, arrests, looting and destruction of property.

I also call on you to question publically Aung San Suu Kyi over her openly racist stance towards the human rights struggle in Myanmar – where the rights of Rohingyas are excluded from the agenda for reform of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

I look forward to you reply.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

Please help IHRC by visiting http://www.ihrc.org.uk/catalog and making a donation or buying an item from our on-line store.

If you want to subscribe to the IHRC list please send an email to subscribe@ihrc.org

If you want to unsubscribe from the IHRC list please send an email from your subscribed email address to unsubscribe@ihrc.org

If you are reusing this alert, please cite the source.

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org