Rohingya Council reiterates its call for 'genocide' inquiry

Rohingya Council supports genocide accusations against Muslim minority and reiterates its call for investigation by United Nations

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A UN report has decried the "systematic discrimination and marginalisation" of Rohingya Muslims

The European Rohingya Council reiterated its call for a genocide inquiry by the United Nations, emphasising its support for a report, accusing the Myanmar government, army and police stating that they are responsible for the genocide against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

According to a Yale Law School report, released last week by Allard K. Lowenstein, the International Human Rights Clinic based its accusations on “strong evidence” that Myanmar committed a genocide against Rohingya Muslims. The evidence has been gathered over three years by the Fortify Rights advocacy group, focusing on the Rohingya.

The Yale report was not the first time that “the existential threats” faced by Rohingya have been underlined in major international fact-finding mission, said Commission Chair Khairul Amin in a statement released last week.

"The finding of the Yale Law School is invariable with that of United to End Genocide, titled Marching to Genocide in Burma [Myanmar] which found that no where in the world are there more known precursors to genocide than in Burma today [against Rohingya]," Amin said.

Rohingya Muslims pass time near their shelter at a refugee camp outside Sittwe on June 4 2014 (Reuters/Archive)

Rohingya, where the Muslim minority lives in apartheid-like conditions in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, has witnessed worsening persecution and violence that has displaced 140,000 people and forced an exodus from the country by boat.

Fortify Rights said that almost 1 million Rohingya live in Rakhine state and at least 160,000 of them have fled since 2012.

Yale’s Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic examined research carried out by Fortify Rights to see if genocide had been committed as said by the 1948 UN genocide convention.

"We think there is strong evidence to support a conclusion that genocide has occurred," said Katherine Munyan, one of four students who conducted an eight-month analysis under the supervision of Lowenstein Director and Law Professor James Silk.

"We determined that the next logical step would be for the United Nations human rights council to convene a commission of inquiry to examine the atrocities in Rakhine state," added Tasnim Motala, a member of the team who presented the findings with Munyan.

The team found evidence that four acts, defined as genocide in a 1948 UN convention. The four acts are killing members of the group, serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, inflicting conditions to destroy the group and preventing births within the group.

Rohingya has long been considered by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities (Reuters/Archive)

The clinic identified that the Myanmar army, police force and now-disbanded Nasaka border administration force is responsible for all four acts that constitute the genocide.

The Myanmar government has yet commented on claims. However, in response to the report, Myanmar’s Information Minister Ye Htut said to local news site that the government “rejects the accusation completely.”

In Rohingya, where 1.1 million residents aren't considered to be citizens by Myanmar's government, Muslims were attacked by Buddhist mobs in recent years and more than 100,000 stateless men, women, and children have been subjected to forced migration.

At least 200 people were killed and thousands of Rohingya Muslims - referred to as “boat people” - are believed to be stranded in the Andaman Sea during the Rohingyan refugee crisis in May.

TRTWorld and agencies