International community urged to stop the ‘silent genocide’ of Rohingya Muslims

Glasgow: January 25, 2014. (PCP) A Scotland-based human rights organisation is calling on the international community to intervene in what is being called the ‘silent genocide’ of the Burmese Rohingya Muslims, who the United Nations has called the most persecuted minority group in the world.

Global Minorities Alliance, a human rights group which advocates for the rights of persecuted minority groups around the world, is deeply concerned about the recent escalation of human rights abuses against the Rohingya minority and criticised the Burmese government for their ongoing sub-human treatment to one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, and for their unwillingness to ensure any protection.

The recent call for the protection and the promotion of the human rights in Burma came amidst the fresh riots between Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine state, killing at least 48 including children and a local policeman.

According to the BBC, the recent killing follows reports of clashes between Rohingya Muslims and the police in the Maungdaw in the Rakhine State in the Western Myanmar. Tensions escalated due to several reports that many Rohingya Muslims had been killed trying to flee over the border into Bangladesh. A policeman is also presumed dead, which further aggravated the situation. Local Buddhists, allegedly with the help of the local authorities, took revenge and launched an attack.

Global Minorities Alliance’s Vice-Chairperson, Shahid Khan, called on the United Nations as well as the international community to intervene to stop human rights abuses through an independent enquiry and hold those accountable according to international criminal law:

“Rohingya are said to be the most vulnerable community in the world and they are being systematically victimised by the state and military in a silent genocide. It is unimaginable that people are being made homeless in the neighbourhood where they have been living for generations. We urge the Burmese government to restore citizenship rights to the Rohingya minority and call for understanding and tolerance between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma.”

In a statement made available to the Global Minorities Alliance, the Director of Burma Campaign Mark Farmaner, stressed the need for international intervention to stop the ongoing persecution of Rohingya:

“To simply repeat a call on the government of Burma to investigate the most recent attacks, when similar calls have already been ignored on countless occasions, is not an adequate response to human rights abuses which violate international law and where there is evidence of ethnic cleansing.

“The only way any kind of impartial investigation is going to happen is if it is conducted by the international community.”

According to the country’s law, Rohingya are not a recognised minority group and have no rights of citizenship. Due to their statelessness, they are subject to systematic persecution and have been victims of violence and discrimination.

Last year more than 200 Rohingya Muslims died during the clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims.