World Bulletin / News Desk
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Kyaw Win, founder and executive director of the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN), said Rohingya Muslims account for only 30 percent of Myanmar’s total Muslim population and that the persecution of the other 70 percent goes underreported.
“What we understand now is that the Rohingya suffers…genocide. But at the same time, the other 70 percent of the Muslim population also faces serious problems,” he said.
“One of the problems is that their citizenship has been denied and they have been put into a group that is ‘mixed blood,’” Win said.
“Being a Muslim, you cannot be a Burmese; only a Buddhist can be a Burmese. So the moment you say you’re a Muslim, you become a mixed blood group.”
Win underlined that Muslims in Myanmar had to prove their bloodline and are then forced to sign a document that will render them stateless and thus without citizenship.
He said Muslims in Myanmar are unable to apply for Burmese passports and are routinely harassed by the police and intelligence services because of their identity.
The Rohingya, according to Win, had faced these same problems 20 years ago, and the other Muslim communities are facing a similar “trend” that could lead to a similar fate.
“If we have failed with the Rohingya people, it means we are also failing with the other 70 percent,” Win said.
Win’s remarks come after the release of a UN report earlier this week documenting mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In its report, UN investigators said the violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.
The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar has called for the trial of Myanmar’s top military officials, including army commander-in-chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, at the International Criminal Court for committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
Win labeled the recent UN report on the Rohingya crisis “strong” and “credible” and said it is an important time for the international community to support the Rohingya and minority issues in Myanmar and bring the perpetrators of this genocide to justice.