39th HRC Session: Oral Statement on Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar
On 18 September 2018, Human Rights Now gave an oral statement on the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar is a continuing human rights and humanitarian catastrophe. In January this year, Human Rights Now published an investigative report that attested to violations of international criminal and human rights law in the Cox Bazar refugee camps. In this statement, we urged the international community to ensure justice and accountability for the crimes committed against the Rohingya. We also called on the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution focusing on international criminal accountability over the crimes committed against the Rohingya, including the establishment of a strong and effective accountability mechanism.
The video and transcript of the statement are available below.
The full text of the statement can be downloaded here.
Thank you Mr. President,
The continuing human rights and humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar was investigated by a UN fact finding mission that reported in August 2018. The mission concluded that it could infer “genocidal intent” in the oppression of the Rohingya. Furthermore, the mission concluded that crimes against humanity had been committed, including murder, sexual violence, and war crimes, including torture.
On 6 September 2018, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I ruled in favor of jurisdiction over crimes related to the deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
We welcome these assessments. In January 2018 an investigative report by Human Rights Now in Cox Bazar refugee camps attested to violations of international criminal and human rights law. Interviewees’ accounts of sexual violence, targeted killings and torture in a widespread and systematic manner support the finding that the Myanmar security forces committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
To date, the response of the Myanmar government has been grossly insufficient given the scale and seriousness of the violations involved. The government has regularly denied allegations of crimes against the Rohingya, cracked down on journalists and free speech, and rejected the ICC’s request for jurisdiction. The latest commission of inquiry established by the government is far from impartial and independent.
Human Rights Now urges the international community to ensure justice and accountability for crimes committed against the Rohingya. Without a guarantee of non-recurrence, the population can never return safely and with dignity. We call on this Council to adopt a resolution focusing on the international criminal accountability over the crimes committed against the Rohingya, including the establishment of a strong and effective accountability mechanism.