UN human rights chief toughens rhetoric on Rakhine crisis Skip to main content

UN human rights chief toughens rhetoric on Rakhine crisis

By REUTERS   Monday, December 18, 2017

GENEVA — The top United Nations human rights official has said he would not be surprised if a court one day ruled that acts of genocide had been committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar, according to a television interview to be shown on Monday.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein told the BBC that attacks on the Rohingya had been "well thought out and planned" and he had asked State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to do more to stop the military action.

Zeid has already called the campaign "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and asked rhetorically if anyone could rule out "elements of genocide", but his latest remarks put the case plainly, toughening his stance.

“The elements suggest you cannot rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed,” he said, according to excerpts of his interview provided in advance by the BBC.

“It’s very hard to establish because the thresholds are high,” he said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if the court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see.”

Myanmar denies committing atrocities against the Rohingya and has previously rejected UN criticism for its "politicisation and partiality". The Myanmar military says the crackdown is a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

Zeid said Myanmar's "flippant" response to the serious concerns of the international community made him fear the current crisis “could just be the opening phases of something much worse”.

He told the BBC he feared jihadi groups could form in the huge refugee camps in Bangladesh and even launch attacks in Myanmar, perhaps targeting Buddhist temples there.

He did not say, in the excerpts provided, which court could prosecute suspected atrocities. Myanmar is not a member of the International Criminal Court, so referral to that court could be done only by the UN Security Council. But Myanmar's ally China could veto such a referral.

The United Nations defines genocide as acts meant to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. Such a designation is rare under international law, but has been used in contexts including Bosnia, Sudan and an Islamic State campaign against the Yazidi communities in Iraq and Syria.

Almost 870,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, including about 660,000 who arrived after Aug. 25, when Rohingya militants attacked security posts and the Myanmar army launched a counter-offensive.

U.N. investigators have heard Rohingya testimony of a "consistent, methodical pattern of killings, torture, rape and arson".

Zeid said he had phoned Aung San Suu Kyi in January, asking her in vain to stop the the military operation.

https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/un-human-rights-chief-toughens-rhetoric-on-rakhine-crisis

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g