36th HRC Session: Oral statement on the urgent situation of Rohingya in Myanmar

On 18 September 2017, Human Rights Now gave an oral statement on the urgent human rights situation facing Rohingya people in Myanmar at the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Thank you Mr. Vice-President.

Human Rights Now is gravely concerned over the deteriorating human rights situation of the Rohingya people. In response to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s attack on August 25th, Myanmar authorities started widespread military actions against the Rohingya population, which has driven nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. The reported military actions, including killings, burning villages and rapes are not justified as legitimate counter-terrorism actions and may constitute crimes against humanity.

Since the crisis last October, the Myanmar government has completely failed to address the situation in conformity with international law. The Myanmar government has rejected to cooperate with the UN Fact-Finding Mission mandated by this Council. In August, the National Investigation Commission on Rakhine State dismissed alleged serious human rights violation committed by the security forces.

Mr. Vice-President,

We strongly urge the authority to stop military action and violence against the Rohingya people. The government must restore humanitarian access for people in need, and allow access of international media and NGOs. Safe zones for Rohingya people should be established under UN observation. All member states of this Council must unite in urging Myanmar to accept and cooperate with the UN Fact Finding Mission to ensure truth, justice and accountability.
We also recommend to the Myanmar government to implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission to address systematic discrimination and restrictions of the Rohingya people.

Thank you.