UN sees ‘crimes against humanity’ in Burma

Human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities in Burma may amount to crimes against humanity, according to a report released June 20 by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The report documents abuses against minorities that include "arbitrary deprivation of nationality, severe restriction on freedom of movement, threats to life and security, denial of rights to health and education, forced labour, sexual violence, and limitations to…political rights, among other violations." The report states that the Rohingya and Kaman Muslims continue to live in camps for internally displaced people after approximately four years since violence began in the Rakhine state. Muslims in Rakhine state are severely restricted from accessing basic healthcare, emergency medical treatment and education. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged the government of Myanmar to take "concrete steps to put an end to the systemic discrimination and ongoing human rights violations against minorities."

From Jurist, June 21. Used with permission.

Note: The Kaman Muslims (also rendered Kamein), unlike the Rohingya, are considered indigenous to Burma, and are one of the officially recognized ethnic minority groups in the Buddhist-majority country. They have not been denied voting rights or been subject to deportation efforts as the Rohingya have. However, they have also been taregted for violence by Buddhist mobs over the past four years, and several thousand are now displaced. (Irrawady, June 6; Mizzima, Nov. 6)

  1. UN sees ‘crimes against humanity’ in Burma —again

    The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said Feb. 3 that Burmese security forces' treatment of the Rohingya Muslims likely constitutes crimes against humanity. Interviews with Rohingya refugees reveal that security forces murdered children, pushed people into burning buildings and raped women, among other crimes (PDF). UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] called on the international community to persuade the Myanmar government to end these military operations. "The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the international community," he said. (Jurist