Urging the UN to Intervene and Stop the Genocide of Muslims in Myanmar
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Dear President and Hon'ble Members of the United Nation Security Council,
As you are aware, a human tragedy amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity is unfolding in Myanmar.
The Rohingyas are among the world’s most persecuted minorities, who for decades have been subjected to a campaign of marginalization and dehumanization. In 1982, their rights to citizenship were removed, and despite living in the country for generations they were rendered stateless.
They have endured severe restrictions on movement, marriage, education and religious freedom. The government and military, and many in society, claim that the Rohingyas are in fact illegal Bengali immigrants who have crossed the border, yet Bangladesh does not recognize them as such either.
Their plight intensified dramatically in 2012 when two severe outbreaks of violence resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of them and a new apartheid between Rohingya Muslims and their Rakhine Buddhist neighbours began. Since then they have existed in ever more dire conditions.
Over the past two months, a military offensive by the Myanmar Army in Rakhine State has led to the killing of hundreds of Rohingya people. Over 30,000 of them have been displaced. Their houses in have been burned, women raped, many civilians arbitrarily arrested, and children killed. Crucially, access for humanitarian aid organisations has been almost completely denied creating an appalling humanitarian crisis in an area already extremely poor. Thousands have attempted to seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh, only to be sent back. Some international experts have warned of the potential for genocide. It has all the hallmarks of recent past tragedies – Rwanda, Darfur, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
The head of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the Bangladesh side of the border, John McKissick, has accused Myanmar’s government of ethnic cleansing. The UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee has condemned the restricted access to Rakhine State as “unacceptable.”
We have had a storm of footage and reports being validated through the media, governments, the United Nation inspectors such as the ex UN President Kofi Annan, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbin, BBC, and others that the Myanmar government are persecuting and ethnic-cleansing the minority Rohingya (Rakhine State) community and its people.
This latest crisis was sparked by an attack on Myanmar border police posts on 9 October, 2016, in which nine Myanmar police officers were killed. The truth about who carried out the attack, how and why, is yet to be established, but the Myanmar military accuse a group of Rohingyas. Even if that is true, the military’s response has been grossly disproportionate. It would be one thing to round up suspects, interrogate them and put them on trial. It is quite another to unleash helicopter gunships on thousands of ordinary civilians and to rape women, behead children and throw babies into fires.
According to one Rohingya interviewed by Amnesty International, “they shot at people who were fleeing. They surrounded the village and started going from house to house. They were verbally abusing the people. They were threatening to rape the women.”
According to Independent, London, “Rohingya children have been beheaded and civilians burned alive, according to witness testimony amid claims that Burma's military and paramilitary forces are committing "genocide" or a "pogrom" against the Muslim minority in the country’s western Rakhine state.”
Amnesty International quotes an eye witness describing how her two sons were arbitrarily arrested: “It was early in the morning, the military surrounded our house, while some came in and forced me and my children to go outside. They tied my two sons up. They tied their hands behind their backs, and they were beaten badly. The military kicked them in the chest. I saw it myself. I was crying so loudly. When I cried, they [the military] pointed a gun at me. My children were begging the military not to hit them. They were beaten for around 30 minutes before being taken away.” She has not seen them since.
Sadly, despite repeated appeals to Aung San Suu Kyi to stop her army from committing this genocide and ensure full and equal citizenship rights to Rohingyas, she has been defending these crimes against humanity and blaming the victims instead.
We urge the United Nations to do everything possible to pressurise the Government of Myanmar to lift all restrictions on humanitarian aid, so that effected people are able to receive emergency assistance.
Access for journalists and human rights monitors should also be permitted, and an independent, international inquiry allowed to establish the truth about the current situation.
Furthermore, we urge the members of UN Security Council to put this crisis on Security Council’s agenda as a matter of urgency, and to call upon the Secretary-General to visit Myanmar in the coming days as a priority.
It is time for the international community as a whole to speak out much more strongly. After Rwanda, world leaders said “never again.” May we not end up being the passive observers of crimes against humanity which would lead us once again to wring our hands belatedly and say “never again,” all over again.
Mehdi Hasan Aini
आज — MEHDI HASAN AINI आप पर भरोसा कर रहे हैं
MEHDI HASAN AINI QASMI से "Your voice for Rohangiyas to the United Nations. Sign the petition for it to be heard" के साथ आपकी सहायता की आवश्यकता है। MEHDI HASAN AINI और 240 और समर्थक आज से जुड़ें।