August 30, 2018 — New York, NY
AJC welcomes the UN report on genocide committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and urges the UN Security Council to take concrete action to implement the report’s recommendations.
“The horrific attacks against the Rohingya cannot be ignored. It is critical for the international community to seek accountability for perpetrators of these gross human rights violations and abuses,” said Jerry Biederman, Chair of the Administrative Council of AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights.
The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, comprised of three esteemed human rights experts, including Radhika Coomaraswamy, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Marzuki Darusman, former Indonesian attorney general, released the report one year after Myanmar’s military undertook a brutal campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
More than 600,000 have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to seek safety from the regime’s mass abuses and atrocities, including burning villages, raping, and killing thousands. The military assaults were allegedly in response to attacks by a Rohingya resistance group, but the report indicates "the nature, scale and organization of the operations suggests a level of preplanning and design" intended to "solve the problem" of the Rohingya by embarking on disproportionate and gruesome "clearance operations" targeting and terrorizing the entire Rohingya population.
“There is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine State,” concludes the UN fact-finding mission report. It also recommended that the Rohingya situation in Myanmar be referred to the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for those responsible for these grave crimes.
The UN Mission’s report describes the gross human rights violations and abuses as “shocking” for their “horrifying nature” and “the level of denial, normalcy and impunity that is attached to them.” The report criticizes Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s former President and current Foreign Minister and State Counsellor, for failing to stem human rights abuses and protect the Rohingya population.
“This report merits the most serious attention and follow-up by the UN Security Council and others,” said Biederman. AJC urges all members of the UN Security Council to demand investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide, and to ensure a resolution to the refugee crisis as well.
Other recommendations in the report include UN Security Council-imposed sanctions on top officials, the creation of a mechanism to gather evidence, ensuring repatriation only under safe and voluntary conditions with human rights protection guarantees.
AJC calls on the Security Council to adopt and implement all the recommendations in the Independent Fact-Finding Mission report.