Home Civil Society Voices 2016 Civil Society Voices Stop killing innocent people in Arakan, urge Rohingya groups

Stop killing innocent people in Arakan, urge Rohingya groups

Graphic: BBC

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We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply concerned about a violent crackdown killing innocent Rohingyas which began yesterday in Maungdaw, Arakan State, Myanmar.

On the night of 8 October/early 9 October, nine police officers were killed in attacks by unknown assailants on three police posts in Maungdaw, Arakan state.

After the incident, more than 10 innocent Rohingyas were killed by Burmese military forces and police forces. Mass arrests are taking place. Many Rohingya women were arrested in Wabek village in Maungdaw Township.

In the past few hours of 10 October 2016, seven Rohingyas were shot dead by military forces in Myo Thugyi village in Maungdaw.

Central government in Myanmar have officially stated that it is unknown who carried out the attack. There are no known armed Rohingya organisations, but other non-Rohingya armed organisations do exist in Rakhine state.

It appears some security or local government officials are privately briefing media that Rohingya people carried out the attack. There is no evidence for this. They may be doing so because the attack took place in Rohingya areas or to use the attack as a pretext for a crackdown on Rohingya.

These attacks must not be used by security and military forces as a pretext for a violent crackdown on the Rohingya involving arbitrary executions, mass arrests and further persecution of the Rohingya people. This already appears to be happening. These are criminal acts against the innocent and must cease immediately.

The National League for Democracy-led government must take immediate steps to ensure rule of law is followed by the military, police and other security services.

READ MORE:  Remembering the Rohingya genocide

Action must also be taken against nationalists who are trying to exploit the deaths of these police officers to whip up anti-Rohingya and anti-Muslim hatred and violence.

It is also vital that the international community intervene with the NLD-led government to ensure it enforces the rule of law.

We, therefore, request the international community, United Nations, OIC, the EU, Asean, the US and the UK to put pressure on the NLD-led government:

  • to stop the killing of innocent Rohingyas in Maungdaw and other parts of Arakan;
  • to restore all basic freedoms, including freedom of movement, marriage, education, healthcare and peaceful-living, and lift all aid restrictions in Rakhine/Arakan State;
  • to end all persecution and ghettoisation and to immediately rehabilitate and reintegrate all IDPs in their original places and properties.

Meanwhile, we urge the international community to support a UN Commission of Inquiry into the atrocity crimes against Rohingya and other Burmese people in order to publicly announce its findings and bring the perpetrators to justice.

1. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
2. Bradford Rohingya community in UK
3. Burmese Rohingya community in Denmark
4. Burmese Rohingya Association Japan
5. Burmese Rohingya community Australia
6. Rohingya community in Germany
7. Rohingya community in Switzerland
8. Rohingya Organisation Norway
9. Rohingya community in Finland
10. Rohingya community in Italy
11. Rohingya community in Sweden
12. Rohingya Society Netherlands
13. Rohingya Society Malaysia
14. Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee

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