Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is gravely concerned with the ongoing crackdown and violence against ethnic Rohingya in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and condemns the escalating human rights violations against the Rohingya community in Rakhine.
The preliminary investigations and inquiry by the United Nations has raised concerns that there may be crimes against humanity committed in Myanmar. Despite grave allegations posed against the Myanmar government, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution (A/HRC/RES/34/22) to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission was refused by the Myanmar government, further cementing the concerns that there are substantial human rights violations in the region.
The persecution of ethnic Rohingya stands as one of the worst human rights violations in the Asean region. The consistent threats posed against the community by the Myanmar government and the active attempt to eliminate the Rohingya from Myanmar can no longer be treated as merely crimes against humanity but must be called as it is: a genocide.
Recognising the plight of the Rohingya, Malaysia must play a proactive role to protect and promote the rights of the community within and outside of Malaysia. The protection of these rights including the rights to peaceful assembly afforded to Malaysians and to any foreign nationals including the Rohingya.
Suaram is appalled by the attempts to deprive the Rohingya of their fundamental human rights and calls for all stakeholders to uphold the rights of the Rohingya in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Recognising the immediate need for intervention and the irreparable harm inflicted on the Rohingya, Suaram calls for the Myanmar government to:
- cease all hostilities and military manoeuvres by the Myanmar government in Rakhine;
- allow the proposed international fact-finding mission to enter Rakhine to investigate all allegations of crime against humanity and genocide;
- allow the entry of humanitarian outfits to provide assistance to refugees and casualties of the conflict.
Suaram also calls for the Malaysian government to:
- intervene on behalf of the Rohingya people in all international and regional platforms;
- summon the Myanmar ambassador to Malaysia to answer for the ongoing human rights violations in Myanmar; and
- suspend diplomatic ties with Myanmar in the event of further escalations.
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.
Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Interview with the Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016