• Sunday, Mar 24, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:11 pm

HRW: Disband Myanmar panel on crimes against Rohingya

  • Published at 12:59 pm December 20th, 2018
web-young-Rohingya-refugees-AFP
Young Rohingya refugees spread fire wood for drying on the roof of a shack at the Hakimpara refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district on November 18, 2018 AFP

HRW says the panel is disregarding evidence collected by United Nations fact-finders

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a statement said Myanmar should disband its commission of inquiry into abuses in Rakhine state because it is clearly unwilling to seriously investigate alleged grave crimes against ethnic Rohingya.

At a news conference on December 12, 2018, Rosario Manalo, chair of the Independent Commission of Enquiry, stated that the commission had found “no evidence” to support allegations of human rights abuses in the four months since it officially opened its investigation.

Her statement shows that the commission is disregarding evidence and testimony collected by United Nations fact-finders, the United States State Department, and international human rights organizations since violence broke out in Rakhine State in 2016.

Addressing the issue, Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW on Wednesday said: “The Myanmar commission’s dismissal of the extensive documentation of gross human rights abuses against the Rohingya makes abundantly clear that it is not serious about seeking justice.

“The UN Security Council should stop giving credence to this commission and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.”

The UN Security Council, which has been negotiating its first resolution on the Rohingya crisis, should view the chair’s comments as further evidence that Myanmar’s commission is not a viable path to justice for victims of abuses.

“The record of Myanmar military abuses against the Rohingya is detailed and voluminous,” Adams said. “What more do Security Council members need to know to call for justice and accountability for grave international crimes?”

The four-member commission, set up by the Myanmar government in May, is the eighth domestic commission created since violence broke out in Rakhine State in 2012. None of these commissions have led to justice or accountability for human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, and arson.