Burma’s government is under pressure to establish an independent inquiry into the treatment of ethnic Rohingya with a new report highlighting widespread human rights abuses that, “could constitute genocide.”
A report conducted by the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School on behalf of the human rights organisation Fortify Rights called for a United Nations inquiry because of the scale of human rights abuses against Rohingya.
“Fortify Rights and the Lowenstein Clinic call on the UN Human Rights Council to urgently adopt a resolution mandating an international Commission of Inquiry to fully assess the totality of the situation in Rakhine State, including human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims as well as Rakhine Buddhists,” the two organisations said in a media statement.
The Yale Law School report warns that discriminatory government policies, such as restrictions of movement on Rohingya, coupled with open hostility and violence from elements of Burma’s majority Buddhist population, were pushing Rohingya communities to the edge.
“Allegations of genocide should not be taken lightly,” Matthew Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights, said in a statement. “Rohingya face existential threats, and their situation is worsening. Domestic remedies have failed. It’s time for the international community to act.”
There are an estimated 140,000 Rohingya currently held in more than 60 camps across Burma. There have been allegations of the government denying those in the camps proper access to humanitarian aid and food.