Health Care

UN Official: Treatment of Rohingya May Contain Elements of Genocide

UN Official: Treatment of Rohingya May Contain Elements of Genocide

Ms. Patten told the human rights panel Tuesday that she had heard "the most heartbreaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities reportedly committed in cold blood out of a lethal hatred of these people exclusively on the basis of their ethnicity and religion".

The UN rights chief called upon the special session "to take the appropriate action to stop this madness now" and asked: "How much do people have to endure before their suffering is acknowledged and their identity and rights are recognised, by their government and by the world?"

The resolution said the 47-member body is "alarmed" by statements and reports of grave violations against the Rohingya that have been carried out in a "systematic, targeted and deliberate" way by security forces with the help of unspecified "non-state actors". China, Burundi and the Philippines voted against it, while nine countries abstained. Two delegations were absent.

While not using the name Rohingya, the ambassador said any "dehumanization" of people in Myanmar "could be an act of extremist individuals".

Speaking before a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the abuses against the Rohingyas, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned "widespread, systematic and shockingly brutal" attacks against the minority group, as well as decades of discrimination and persecution.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on November 23 for Rohingya living in camps to voluntarily return to northern Rakhine - a process that Myanmar has said will get under way within two months.

He spoke after the United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, rhetorically suggested that "genocide" being committed against the Roghinya couldn't be ruled out.

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"The adoption of today's resolution demonstrates the broad worldwide concern about the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people so brutally impacted by the ongoing crimes against humanity in Myanmar's Rakhine State".

But she remains a heroine for most of her compatriots, who largely consider the Rohingya as unwanted illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday posted all petitions relating to deportation of Muslim Rohingya refugees for detailed hearing on January 31.

Pointing to the vast array of known abuses, "the burning of houses with families inside", he asked: "Can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?"

The worldwide community must now redouble efforts to urge Myanmar's authorities, and in particular its military leadership, to immediately stop the violence and discrimination against Rohingya and other minorities, and allow unfettered access to the UN Fact-Finding Mission, humanitarian aid and independent human rights monitors.

More than 6,20,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar security forces launched an operation in the Rakhine state in response to the alleged attacks by militants on August 25 against 30 police posts and a regimental headquarters.

"The U.N. resolution makes clear that the global community retains a watchful eye over the plight of the Rohingya and demands action", said Laila Matar, senior U.N. advocate at Human Rights Watch, in a printed statement. A draft resolution urges Zeid's office to report on cooperation between Myanmar's government with United Nations rights monitors.


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