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UN human rights chief: Persecution against remaining Rohingyas continues in Rakhine

  • Published at 12:59 am June 25th, 2019
More than 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence which erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Interactive dialogue on Myanmar on July 5, she informed

The chief of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Michelle Bachelet, has alleged that the persecution of the remaining Rohingyas in Rakhine state of Myanmar is continuing.

In the opening statement, at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva on Monday, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also revealed that there would be an interactive dialogue on Myanmar on July 5.

There is no or little endeavour from the Myanmar government to create favourable conditions for a dignified, and sustainable return of hundreds of thousands of persecuted people sheltered in Bangladesh.

More than a million Rohingyas, most of whom have arrived since August 25, 2017, are now in Cox’s Bazar, owing to the brutality of the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist vigilantes, and people from other ethnic groups in Rakhine. 

“In Myanmar, evidence indicates continued persecution of the remaining Rohingya people in northern Rakhine State, with little or no effort by the authorities to create the conditions for the voluntary, safe, and sustainable return of refugees,” said the UN rights chief. 

“Although restrictions on humanitarian and media access in both Rakhine, and in Chin State limit our access to information, the ongoing conflict there has included use of heavy weaponry, airstrikes, and helicopter gunships by the military, with significant loss of life on all sides, and severe impact on civilians,” she added. 

Based on allegations received, she furthered: “We fear that the conflict is being used as a pretext to carry out attacks against Rohingya civilians, and to cause further displacement. Some 35,000 ethnic Rakhine, Rohingya, Mro, Daignet, and Khamee civilians have been internally displaced by the fighting.

“The suspension of humanitarian aid by the government means at least 95,000 people have been cut off from life-saving assistance.” 

The eyes of the world are on the Council as this June session opens, said Bachelet, adding that over 100 reports are still to be examined. 

Panel discussions will delve deeply into the many human rights situations and themes, including topics crucial to women’s enjoyment of human rights in the context of work, old age, and climate change, targeted surveillance, and the private surveillance industry, mental health, and other essential areas of political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights, she said.

Detailing human rights violations in many parts of the world, the high commissioner said: “I encourage all states to stand for countries that are strong, not because they attack the vulnerable, but because they protect the vulnerable."

“I urge them to stand for governments that are powerful because they serve the people, not themselves, for justice systems that have the people's support because they support the people's rights.” 

She concluded: “To stand for a world, which is based on hope, and dignity; a world that has a future, which is stronger, and safer, because it upholds the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of all.”