Myanmar urged to implement UN resolution on Rohingyas

A prominent human rights organization has called on the Myanmar government to put into practice a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly on Rohingya Muslims and grant full citizenship to members of the community.

Mon Jan 5, 2015 3:42PM

In an open letter to Myanmar’s President Thein Sein on Monday, the president of the Britain-based Rohingya Federation of Arakan pointed to a number of persistent restrictions which Rohingya Muslims are enduring.

Sheikh Firdous highlighted that Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship, freedom of religion, movement, employment and access to health.

Firdous urged Sein to immediately implement the UN resolution, which calls on Myanmar to grant full citizenship to its persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and conduct an independent probe into rights abuses committed against them.

The UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee adopted the non-binding resolution by consensus on November 21, 2014, to pressure Myanmar to change its approach toward the Rohingya Muslims.

The head of Rohingya Federation of Arakan also urged Myanmar authorities to allow Rohingyas to move freely throughout the Southeast Asian country, ensure their safe return to their communities from refugee camps, and release Rohingya activists.

Some 800,000 Rohingyas are reportedly deprived of citizenship rights and suffer from a policy of discrimination that has denied them the right of naturalization and made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion and displacement.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by Buddhist extremists. The assaults have been mainly carried out in the western state of Rakhine.

The Myanmar government has been repeatedly criticized by human rights groups for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslim community.