Yangon – Need to face the crisis of the ethnic minority of Rohingya Muslims, who in the past five years have seen a dramatic escalation of human rights violations, marked by repression, discrimination and violence. This is the appeal launched by a network of NGOs to the new Burmese government. The note sent to Agenzia Fides is signed, among others, by organizations like Christian Solidarity Worldide, Burma Action, Burma Campaign, Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Info Birmanie.
The text notes that 150,000 people have been displaced and are living in camps which, as described by senior officials of the United Nations, are among "the worst conditions in the world". Well over 100,000 Rohingyas have fled the country in the face of increasing repression, and thousands drowned.
The NGO Human Rights Watch has documented violations of human rights based on the legal definition of "ethnic cleansing" and "crimes against humanity". The Rohingya have been deprived of their right to vote, excluded from the recent national census, and are still denied their legal right to citizenship.
"For decades the military government of Burma has pursued a policy of repression and impoverishment, in an attempt to push the ethnic group of Rohingya out of the country", noted the statement of the NGOs. "The new government led by NLD faces huge challenges. However, given the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis and human rights, a courageous and decisive action to resolve this issue is necessary". The four points suggested by the appeal are: to put an end to speeches that incite hatred; ensure humanitarian access; reform the Citizenship Act of 1982; start a serious investigation inspired by justice and accountability criteria. >>