Rohingya Persecution May Amount To Genocide: UN Human Rights Commissioner

Rohingya Persecution May Amount To Genocide: UN Human Rights Commissioner
December 05 11:55 2017 Print This Article

The systematic violent persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar could amount to genocide, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al-Hussein, said on Tuesday in Geneva.

At the start of a special UN Human Rights Council session on the plight of the Rohingya, Al-Hussein said that security forces have been involved in the burning of people in their homes, murdering of children and adults, widespread rape of women and girls, as well as torching of schools and mosques.

In addition, he highlighted the increasing restrictions that Rohingya have been facing in their daily lives, including refusal of citizenship rights and birth certificates for their children.

“Given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present’’ Al-Hussein asked assembled diplomats at the Council.

The UN human rights chief usually does not assign definite labels to human rights crimes, as he leaves such decisions to the courts.

In late August, security forces of Buddhist-majority Myanmar launched operations in Rakhine state, after Rohingya militants had attacked security posts in the region.

Since then, more than 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

At the Human Rights Council session, several countries including Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh have introduced a draft resolution.

It states that there is evidence “indicating the very likely commission of crimes against humanity.’’

The decision, which would be voted on later, calls on Myanmar to let UN rights investigators and aid organisations into Rakhine.

(dpa/NAN)

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