OIC expresses grave concern over brutal acts against Rohingya

UN: Textbook example of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar

A Rohingya refugee man pulls a child as they walk to the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh. — Reuters

Saudi Gazette report

Astana, Kazakhstan
— The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed grave concern over the systematic brutal acts perpetrated by security forces against the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar.

These constitute a serious and blatant violation of international law, said the OIC after a meeting called to discuss the atrocities against the Rohingya.

In Geneva, the top UN human rights official on Monday denounced Myanmar’s “brutal security operation” against the Rohingya in Rakhine state, saying it was disproportionate to insurgent attacks carried out last month.

“The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Communal tensions appeared to be rising across Myanmar on Monday after two weeks of violence in Rakhine state that have triggered an exodus of about 300,000 Rohingya Muslims, prompting the government to tighten security at Buddhist pagodas.

Zeid said that more than 270,000 people had fled to Bangladesh, with more trapped on the border, amid reports of the burning of villages and extrajudicial killings.

“We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians,” Zeid told the Geneva forum.

He cited reports that Myanmar authorities had begun to lay landmines along the border with Bangladesh and would require returnees to provide “proof of citizenship”.

Rohingya have been stripped of civil and political rights including citizenship rights for decades, he added.

“I call on the government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred, and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population,” Zeid said.

The OIC meeting called upon the government of Myanmar to accept the UN Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all alleged violations of international human rights law and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The OIC meeting also urged the government of Myanmar to honor its obligations under international law and human rights covenants, and to take all measures to immediately halt acts of dispersion and discriminatory practices against Rohingya Muslims, as well as the continuous attempts to obliterate their Islamic culture and identity. — With agencies