Sunday, June 20, 2010

A call to End Crimes against Humanity in Western Burma

Burmese Rohingya Democratic Alliance (BRAD)

Press Release:
Date: June 20, 2010

A call to End Crimes against Humanity in Western Burma

We undersigned organizations warmly solutes the recent report, titled: “Crimes against Humanity in Western Burma: The Situation of the Rohingyas”, launched by the Irish Center for Human Rights (ICHR), National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, which is the one of the World’s Leading university based human rights research center.

We express our sincere gratitude towards the members, researchers, associates and all level of staffs or assistants and contributors both in cash or kinds from every quarter of humanity, particularly the Irish Government, Irish Center for Human Rights and Irish Aid and people for making this successful job to be done with tireless and restless efforts and contributions.

The report was officially launched by the Micheal Martin, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs on June 16, 2010 at Iveagh House, Dublin in the presence of Rohingya victims who were rescued by the Irish Government in one year ago.

For decades, the Rohingyas have been enduring human rights abuses in Northern Arakan State of Burma. In every moment, more and more Rohingya men, women and children are leaving Burma, fleeing the human rights abuses in the hope of finding peace and security elsewhere in the world. But, their plight has been overlooked for years and the root causes of their situation still remain under-examined. These violations are on-going and in urgent need of attention and redress.

A fact-finding mission managed to reach to the region, including Burma, as well as on extensive open-source research, and confidential meetings with organizations working in the region. Mission gained much of the most important information came from the many interviews conducted with Rohingya individuals in and around refugee camps in Bangladesh, where they were able to speak more freely than they can in Burma itself about the violations they had endured and which had caused them to flee their homes.

The Report has examined the apparent cases of enslavement, rape and sexual violence, deportation or forcible transfer of populations, and persecution against the Rohingyas may constitute crimes against humanity. “Describing the violations as crimes against humanity raises the possibility that cases against those Burmese officials who are responsible could be referred to the International Criminal Court.

The Report has also revealed the truth on the actual situation of the Rohingyas through the lens of crimes against humanity. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and international criminal law jurisprudence, especially that of the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, are used to provide detailed and clear legal foundations for the examination. As becomes evident in the individual chapters, there is a strong prima facie case for determining that crimes against humanity are being committed against the Rohingyas of Northern Arakan State in Burma.

The Reports affirms that people committing, allowing, aiding and abetting these crimes must be held accountable, calling the international community including the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council, ASEAN and all other stakeholders or states to take responsibility to protect the Rohingyas, to respond to the allegations of crimes against humanity and ensure that violations and impunity do not persist for another generation, establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and collect further evidence on the perpetration of crimes against humanity in Northern Arakan State. Moreover, as raised throughout this Report, there is strong foundation to believe that further crimes are being committed throughout other areas of Burma, and the Commission of Inquiry must have a broad mandate to investigate all allegations of international crimes committed in the country.

Commission of Inquiry should confirm a prima facie case of crimes against humanity, the Security Council should refer the case to the International Criminal Court, pursuant to Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.

We do believe that the ICHR will conduct further researchers in states of Rohingyas’ refuge, where they have been being treated as slave labor under the title of temporary shelter. These kinds of words bring obstructions against international supports towards the Rohingya victims, living elsewhere in the world.

Base on these live evidences, we request to all level of human societies to come forward for showing strong solidarity in combating crimes against Rohingya Burmese minority through allocating them in the states parties to United Nations and International Treaties including 1951 Convention and its 1967 additional protocol and putting effective pressures on Burmese military regime for urgent democratic changes in order to ensure the full rights and dignity of the Rohingyas in Burma.

Signed by:
Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC), Malaysia
Arakan Rohingya Organization-Japan (JARO)
Arakan Rohingya Ulama Council, (ARUC), Malaysia
Burmese Rohingya Association in UAE (BRA-UAE)
Human Rights Association for Rohingya (HURAR), Arakan-Burma
Myanmar Muslim Council (MMC), KSA
National Council for Rohingya (NCR), Malaysia
National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) exile, HQ, USA
Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF), Arakan-Burma
World Rohingya Congress (WRC), USA

For further information, please contact:
Kyaw Soe Aung,, Tel: +14147364273
Mohammad Sadek, Tel: +60 163094599

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