Killing of innocent People in Myanmar by security forces and attack on Muslims
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We, The Muslim Federation of Punjab, write to urge your delegations to support calls by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, for the establishment of Inquiry or similar international mechanism to investigate, at a minimum, alleged and apparent serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar.
Since 9 October 2016, Myanmar’s security forces have carried out large-scale attacks against the Rohingya population . These ‘clearance operations’ violate numerous provisions of international human rights law.
The ‘clearance operations’ involved human rights violations against women, men, and children, including: extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; torture and other ill-treatment, notably rape and other crimes of sexual violence; arbitrary arrests and detention; forced displacement; and destruction and looting of homes, food, and other property.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documented many such serious human rights violations in a ‘flash report’ released on 3 February 2017. The report concluded that the attacks against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State during the prolonged crackdown could “very likely” amount to crimes against humanity.Military and police operations resulted in the displacement of at least 97,000 Rohingya, including approximately 73,000 who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.
A large number and overall patterns of human rights violations and abuses have already been well documented, while many more allegations require further investigation.
The Myanmar government’s response to these documented violations has ranged from blanket denials of any wrongdoing by security forces to numerous attempts to discredit reports of abuses by Rohingya eyewitnesses and survivors.
An advisory commission was also established by Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 24 August 2016. The commission consists of nine members, including three international experts with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as its chair. However, its mandate is limited to making general recommendations to the government to “resolve protracted issues” in Rakhine State and both Annan and the Myanmar government have affirmed the commission will not investigate reports of human rights violations.
Finally, another earlier commission, set up by then-President Thein Sein in August 2012 to investigate unrest in Rakhine State, failed to lead to accountability for human rights violations committed during successive waves of violence between June and October 2012. Approximately 140,000 people, predominantly Rohingya, were internally displaced and at least 200 were killed during the unrest .
And now In August 2017, more than 3,000 Rohingya Muslims were killed by security forces.
Given the inability or unwillingness of these commissions to establish facts and hold perpetrators accountable, and the fact that national judicial and law enforcement authorities lack the both the independence and technical capacity to deal with such situations, we see no credible or effective alternative to a Commission of Inquiry, or similar international mechanism, to address and begin the process of effectively finding and verifying the truth of what has happened, and ensuring justice and accountability for human rights violations and abuses committed. The Human Rights Council should adopt a resolution establishing such an international independent investigation tasked with determining facts, identifying causes and alleged perpetrators, and making recommendations for next steps, including appropriate remedies for the victims.
We strongly believe that at such a critical juncture in Myanmar’s history, the establishment of a UN-mandated international Commission of Inquiry or similar international mechanism is a minimum requirement for ensuring justice and accountability, and can also significantly contribute to preventing further atrocities being committed against Rohingya and other minorities at risk in Myanmar. The commission’s findings will play a crucial role in assisting the Myanmar government in promoting accountability for grave crimes committed by its security forces.
Please take necessary steps to stop such attacks on muslims.We Indian Muslims will be thankful to you.
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