Myanmar gov't responsible for crimes against humanity

A human rights organization claims abuses against Rohingya Muslims had basis in official policies.

Myanmar gov't responsible for crimes against humanity

World Bulletin / News Desk

Myanmar state and central government officials have committed crimes against humanity, according to a report by a South-east Asia-based human rights organization released Tuesday.

Fortify Rights' report 'Myanmar: Abolish Abusive Restrictions & Practices Against Rohingya Muslims,' published leaked documents that allegedly show the state’s involvement in the persecution of the Rohingya minority.

The report highlights human rights violations, including restrictions on freedom of movement, marriage and childbirth.

The organization's executive director, Matthew Smith, said: "The impacts of these restrictions are severe and have been well-documented for decades, but the official orders have been kept out of the public domain until now."

"This architecture of abuse contributes to political instability and violence and must be lifted immediately," he said.

The report says Myanmar has a two-child policy for the Rohingya, and a policy of using permission to marry as a way to control the birth rate. Fortify Rights claim that enforcement guidelines given out urge authorities to force Rohingya women to breast-feed in their presence "if there is suspicion of someone being substituted" in the family register.

“The government is systematically persecuting Rohingya on the basis of ethnicity, religion, and at times gender,” said Smith. “Rohingya women in particular find themselves in the crosshairs of these targeted policies, facing severe discrimination because they’re women as well as Rohingya Muslims.”

The report also reveals what state officials and authorities have said on record. It quotes Myanmar’s Minister of Home Affairs Lieutenant General Ko Ko, who in July 2012 told the Burmese parliament that the authorities were "tightening the regulations [against Rohingya] in order to handle travelling, birth, death, immigration, migration, marriage, construction of new religious buildings, repairing and land ownership and [the] right to construct building[s]."

"The reality is that the official state policies and practices against Rohingya are plainly abusive," said Smith, who called on the international community to "unequivocally condemn these policies and practices and work with the government of Myanmar to ensure they’re abolished."

The report calls for Rohingya to be made citizens of Myanmar and to have equal rights in the country; for an independent international investigation into human rights violations in Rakhine state since 2012; and the ending of practices that restrict the human rights of the Rohingya.

The Rohingya Muslims, who the UN say are among the most oppressed peoples in the world, reside mainly in the Western Myanmar state of Rakhine.

Attacks against the minority in 2012 involved, according to Human Rights Watch, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity perpetrated with the aid of state forces.

Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2014, 10:55
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