Alert: Rohingya – Demand UN to safeguard rights of Rohingya amid coup in Myanmar

GETTYIMAGES

IHRC urges campaigners to write to Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for safeguarding the rights of the Rohingya refugees affected by the coup in Myanmar.

Background

Action required

Model Template

Recipient email addresses

Background

Rohingyas’ persecution has been ongoing for decades; however, since October 2016, there has been a considerable escalation of attacks. While it is continuing in parts of Myanmar, some of the worst humanitarian catastrophes have already occurred. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people were killed, with thousands of Rohingya internally displaced, accompanied by rapes, looting, torture and beatings. 

According to the OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), as of March 2019, over 909,000 Rohingya refugees have gathered in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, which is now home to the world’s largest refugee camp. There they remain, refusing early repatriation due to fear for their lives. IHRC has conducted a field visit to Cox’s Bazaar and listened to the accounts of Rohingyas that chime with evidence collected by other human rights organisations: widespread and unlawful killings as well as rape carried out by the Myanmar security forces, at times with the support of vigilante mobs in their execution of a scorched-earth campaign. In November 2019, three separate judicial actions were undertaken against Myanmar. The charges are the same in each: genocide and other human rights abuses committed against the Rohingya minority in that country.

According to the reports, Bangladesh government have forcefully moved around 1600 Rohingya refugees from camps in Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal. The Bhasan Char Island is 36 miles from the mainland and known to be a low-lying island; vulnerable to cyclones and flooding. Therefore, it is not suitable for hosting vulnerable Rohingya refugees.

The military coup staged on the 1st of February 2021, worsened the Rohingya refugees’ situation. Myanmar’s military ruled the country for fifty years until 2011 has been responsible for committing the genocide and all the atrocities against Rohingya. Further, a repatriation process supported by the United Nations has been stalled due to the military coup. Rohingyas fear that Bangladeshi government will instead send the refugees from Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal. The United Nations should take necessary measures to alleviate the Rohingya refugees’ sufferings due to the coup and be vigilant about the future deterioration of the Rohingya refugees’ situation.

Action required

  1. Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Forward any responses you receive to us on info@ihrc.org so we can develop this campaign further.
  2. Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign.
  3. Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation existing for decades, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases. 

Model Template

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

For the attention of Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria,

Dear Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria,

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Rohingyas’ persecution has been ongoing for decades; however, since October 2016, there has been a considerable escalation of attacks. While it is continuing in parts of Myanmar, some of the worst humanitarian catastrophes have already occurred.

According to the reports, Bangladesh government have forcefully moved around 1600 Rohingya refugees from camps in Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal. The Bhasan Char Island is 36 miles from the mainland and known to be a low-lying island; vulnerable to cyclones and flooding. Therefore, it is not suitable for hosting vulnerable Rohingya refugees.

The military coup staged on the 1st of February, 2021, worsened the Rohingya refugees’ situation. Myanmar’s military ruled the country for fifty years until 2011, has been responsible for committing the genocide and all the atrocities against Rohingya. Further, a repatriation process supported by the United Nations has been stalled due to the military coup. Rohingyas now fear that Bangladeshi government will instead send the refugees from Cox’s Bazar to the Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal.

I urge you to take necessary measures to alleviate the Rohingyas sufferings due to the coup and be vigilant about the future deterioration of the Rohingya refugees’ situation.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

Your name

Recipient Addresses

Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:

mbachelet@ohchr.org or InfoDesk@ohchr.org