The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, says “You cannot rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed” against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Around 650,000 have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh since August where most have no other option than to remain in refugee camps at the Bangladesh border, these religious refugees have been labeled “stateless”.
Despite the Myanmar government claiming otherwise, Human Rights Watch, HRW, reports that Myanmar forces have burned nearly 354 villages in the Rakhine state since August in its “clearance operations.”
“Analysis of satellite imagery reveals new destruction of Rohingya villages during October and November 2017 in northern Rakhine State in Burma,” the advocacy group’s report said.
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Earlier this month the U.N. reported that Myanmar security forces are “deliberately burning people to death inside their homes,” and that there are “murders of children and adults; indiscriminate shooting of fleeing civilians; widespread rapes of women and girls, and the burning and destruction of houses, schools, markets and mosques.”
This is the second time this month that Al Hussein has referred to the eradication of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar as having “elements of genocide.”
Only a court judge can declare whether or not a genocide is taking place, but Al Hussein says, “It wouldn’t surprise me in the future if the court were to make such a finding.” He adds, Given the scale of the military operation, clearly these would have to be decisions taken at a high level.”
Reports from as early as February 2017 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) along with the statements by the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar point towards accounts of egregious violations targeting the Rohingya minority at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
Top photo | A Rohingya Muslim woman, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, lies unconscious on the shore of the Bay of Bangal after the boat she was traveling in capsized at Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (AP/Dar Yasin)
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