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Myanmar ‘Violates International Laws’ over Rohingya Treatment

 Gianluca
Mezzofiore
International
Business Times
April 8, 2013
Burma
Campaign UK criticises President Thein Sein for oppressive policies against
minority Muslims
Myanmar’s
government has violated at least eight international laws with its treatment of
the Rohingya Muslims, one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, according
to a British-based advocacy group. 
Burma Campaign UK slammed
the progressive president Thein Sein for policies of oppression applied
exclusively to the Rohingya. The minority group is considered stateless under
Burma’s citizenship law of 1982. 
Legal
constraints render it “almost impossible” for the Rohingya to be
recognised as citizens of the country. “This violates the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and
international norms prohibiting discrimination of racial and religious
minorities,” says the report.
Many
Burmese consider Rohingya as unwelcome
migrants from Bengal
. The state-run press refers to
“locals” differentiates between “locals” ie Arakan Buddhists
and “Bengalis” to indicate Rohingya. Rohingya are denied access to
education and employment and face “unacceptable restrictions on movement,
marriage, and reproduction”, adds the report. 
Following
outbreaks of sectarian violence and repeated calls by UN authorities, the
government has established a 27-strong commission to investigate trouble in
Rakhine state – home to many Rohingya – but Thein Sein has ruled out reforming
the 1982 Law and Medecins Sans Frontiers has faced restricted access to camps where
Rohingya are displaced. 
Many
ministries in the government have disputed the right of Rohingya to be in Burma
at all. That gives “official legitimacy to those committing acts of
violence” and allows them to continue doing so with impunity, said Burma
Campaign UK. 
“World
leaders need to take off their rose-tinted glasses and start making policy
based on international law and promoting human rights,” said Mark
Farmaner, director. 
“Burma’s
treatment of the Rohingya violates international law. The international
community must hold President Thein Sein accountable for the policies and
actions of his government.” 
The group has
called on the British government and the international community “to
provide a combination of pressure and of assistance, both in terms of
humanitarian assistance and in terms of expertise” to reform the
citizenship laws. 
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