Paper calls for ending discrimination against Rohingya

ABU DHABI, 3rd March 2017 (WAM) – It is disappointing that Myanmar’s military continues to defend its crackdown on Rohingya Muslims who have suffered discrimination and humiliation for too long, a paper said today..

Independent media was barred access to the Rohingya area of Rakhine since an army crackdown began in October.

“What is conveniently forgotten is that the government cannot conduct a credible investigation by itself, commented ‘Gulf Today’ in its today’s editorial.

Human rights groups have repeatedly stated that satellite photos support their allegations of the mass burning of houses.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, who visited Bangladesh where she met members of Myanmar’s Rohingya community has rightly called for urgent action by the government of Myanmar to end the suffering of the Rohingya population.

She has revealed that the magnitude of violence that these families witnessed and experienced is far more extensive than originally speculated.

Yanghee Lee has recounted several allegations of horrific attacks including the slitting of some people’s throats, indiscriminate shootings, houses being set alight with people tied up inside and very young children being thrown into the fire, as well as gangrapes and other forms of sexual violence.

These are spine-chilling, merciless actions that call for severe punishment to the perpetrators.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights earlier issued a flash report, based on its interviews with the people who fled Myanmar, in which it documented mass gangrape, killings, including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by the country’s security forces.

Fears are also growing for the lives of several thousand children in northwest Myanmar suffering from severe malnutrition but denied vital aid.

UN agencies were unable to maintain lifesaving services for more than 3,000 registered children, mostly Rohingya, in two townships of Rakhine state after the military sealed off the area.

Following an international outcry, the military allowed the UN to resume limited aid operations in Buthidaung township in December and last month in Maungdaw North. But many children originally receiving aid still have not been reached.

“We have reports of children who died from malnutrition,” Chris Lewa, director of Arakan Project, an NGO operating for years in northern Rakhine, informed The Independent newspaper.

The Arakan Project estimates that some 200 people were killed by the military. Other estimates range up to 1,000.

The Myanmar government should prevent any further serious human rights violations and also conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation into incidents that occurred earlier.

Source: Emirates News Agency