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European Rohingya Council visits Anadolu Agency

European Rohingya Council visits Anadolu Agency

By Safvan Allahverdi, Anadolu Agency

Group thanks the agency for keeping oppression and violence against Rohingya Muslims in the world spotlight

ANKARA 

During a visit to Anadolu Agency headquarters in Ankara Monday, officials from the European Rohingya Council (ERC) praised the agency for keeping the plight of stateless Rohingya Muslims in the world spotlight.

The group’s Chairman Khairul Amin, President Hla Kyaw, and trustee member Mohammed Ibrahim were welcomed by Anadolu Agency Deputy Director-General Mustafa Ozkaya, Deputy Director-General and Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu, International News Editor-in-Chief Faruk Tokat, and Foreign Languages Department Director Mehmet Ozturk.

The parties spoke about the current situation of the Rohingya Muslims and how to cooperate for their benefit.

Amin thanked Anadolu Agency for telling the world about the ongoing pressure and violence against Rohingya Muslims in the southeastern Asian country of Myanmar.

“It is our duty to create sensitivity about the situation of the Rohingya Muslims, and Turkish people give them great support,” Ozkaya told the guests.

Kyaw explained that the council tracks the pressure and violence that Rakhine Muslims are subjected to and tries to provide urgent medical assistance when necessary.

He also stressed that the acts of violence against civilian Muslims, which have been on the rise since last October in the Rakhine State, are the “worst” of all.

Kyaw, calling the oppression and violence of Rakhine Muslims a “slow-motion genocide”, stated that State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi “acts like a spokeswoman of Myanmar’s army by covering up their lies.”

Crimes against humanity

Myanmar has been under international criticism for its military crackdown on Rohingya civilians in the northern part of Rakhine State, which has been under military lockdown since a gang killed nine police officers last October.

Following growing local and international pressure, on Feb. 15 Myanmar announced the end of military operations in the area, but a military spokesman later said clearance operations had yet to be halted.

During the operations, security forces have been accused of committing abuses such as mass gang-rape and killings, including children and babies, brutal beatings, the burning of villages, and disappearances.

A recent report commissioned by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein stated that the rights violations against Rohingya civilians could constitute crimes against humanity.

Advocacy groups claim that hundreds of Rohingya — described by the UN as among the world’s most persecuted groups — were killed in the military operations. An estimated 66,000 Rohingya have crossed the border to Bangladesh since October, according to the UN, and there are 22,000 displaced within Myanmar.