The European Rohingya Council is deeply shocked and extremely concerned on the decision of EU not to support U.N. investigation of Myanmar’s crimes against Rohingya. Reuters news agency reported on 8 February that EU decided not to back up the international investigation of Myanmar’s crimes against Rohingya sought by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein. In addition, EU’s backing up of the military formed Commission of Inquiry to investigate the very crimes the military has been committing is completely shocking. This irresponsible stand of EU will be a green light for Myanmar armed forces to further commit atrocities against Rohingya.
At the Human Rights Session 34 in Geneva, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the severity of the reported human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar amount to “Crimes against Humanity” and warrants the attention of the International Criminal Court on 8 March. Mr. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein seeks for an urgent setting up of a full international Commission of Inquiry into the findings of recent atrocities against Myanmar’s Rohingya in Rakhine State. His decision is strongly based on many evidences collected by UNHCR after conducting its own investigation in Bangladesh border area, talking to Rohingya who have fled to escape horrifying atrocities since 9 October 2016. The decision for an international investigation is also backed by the strong findings of U.N. Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, Miss Yanghee Lee. Miss Lee completed her 5th official visit in March 2017 to Myanmar and short visit to Bangladesh Cox bazar area from 19-23, February, 2017.
All previous Commissions of Inquiries established by Myanmar government to investigate the very crimes the armed forces have been committing against Rohingya have never been impartial, and lack credibility and transparency.
Further, Myanmar government has continuously been denying all the allegations of human rights abuses against the Rohingya. Therefore, neither Rohingya nor international community is convinced that Myanmar military formed Commission of Inquiry will conduct a genuine and transparent investigation.
The very reason Myanmar government is not allowing international media in the affected area in Rakhine State, and not cooperating with U.N. to conduct international investigations into the killings, raping and arrests of Rohingya en masse proved Myanmar’s crimes against Humanity. More than 72,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh since 9 October 2016. This should alarm the European Union of an ongoing humanitarian disaster.
Only an independent UN led international investigation of Myanmar’s abuse against Rohingya can reveal the crimes against Rohingya. This could be the first step in ending Myanmar’s state sponsored institutionalized persecution of Rohingya community.
Therefore, we strongly urge EU to reverse its decision, and to support U.N. led international investigation of the crimes against Rohingya perpetrated by Myanmar armed forces in Northern Arakan.
For more information:
Dr. Anita Schug; +4915750685496; firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Rohingya Council