PRESS RELEASE – Myanmar: IHRC urges international community to act over Rohingya genocide

From: Islamic Human Rights Commission

5 July 2018

PRESS RELEASE – Myanmar: IHRC urges international community to act over Rohingya genocide

IHRC was written to world leaders urging them to take immediate action against the government of Myanmar for genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya minority.

The letters have been sent to all fifteen members of the UN Security Council as well as UN special rapporteurs imploring them to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court and to appoint UN observers to maintain peace and security as well as gather more information on what is happening inside the country.

The letters follow a hard-hitting report published last week by IHRC based on first-hand accounts of the atrocities suffered by the Rohingya in and around 25 August 2017 which presents a compelling case for bringing Myanmar officials before the International war Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

IHRC also wrote to Kofi Annan, a former secretary general of the UN who is now in charge of the Kofi Annan Foundation, an organisation that seeks to mobilise political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights.

IHRC conducted a field visit to Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh to record the experiences of some of the 700,000 refugees who have fled Myanmar to escape the government pogroms in and around late August 2017. In interviews with victims and eye-witnesses IHRC was able to gather evidence of the atrocities carried out by Myanmar against the Rohingya.

Their accounts chime with evidence collected by other human rights organisations which detail 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.

Myanmar is a signatory to the Genocide Convention whose signatories accept that genocide is an international crime. Under the convention Myanmar is bound to prevent and punish genocide. However it is clear that the state refuses to acknowledge that potential international crimes may have been committed, denying that atrocities have taken place and claiming that its actions against the Rohingya were taken to tackle terrorism.

This failure makes it imperative for the ICC to step in. The ICC is only mandated to investigate cases where the state in question is unwilling or incapable of doing so.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017 and the UN Commissioner for Human Rights has called the Rohingya crisis “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”

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Notes to editors:

IHRC’s report on the genocide of the Rohingya can be read HERE.

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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