Statements at the 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
CIVICUS and our partner, Burma Human Rights Network delivered two statements on the situation of Rohingya and other minorities in and outside Myanmar, please read them below:
Interactive Dialogue on High Commisioner Oral update on Myanmar
Delivered by Kyaw Win, Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
Thank you, Mr. President.
CIVICUS and the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) thanks the High Commissioner for her update.
We remain deeply concerned about the situation and lack of accountability for violations against the Rohingya and other minorities inside and outside Myanmar.
Monitoring by BHRN has found that arbitrary arrests and restriction of movement continue to occur. On 31 March, ten Rohingyas were arrested on a bus at a checkpoint in Ann Township in Rakhine State by a joint team of military, police, and immigration officials. On 29 April, four Rohingya Muslim women were arrested at a checkpoint in the same township.
BHRN has documented a steady increase in anti-Muslim hate speech and disinformation in the country. On 2 April, a post on the social media site Facebook included fabricated information, suggesting that jihadists support the pro-democratic activities in Myanmar. The post was liked by hundreds of Facebook users. On 21 April another post on Facebook accused the pro-democracy group People Defence Force (PDF) of killing Buddhist monks with the support of Muslims.
It is abundantly clear that the conditions are not in place for the safe voluntary return of displaced Rohingya communities, and will not be so as long as the military junta holds power, and we call on the Council to support a resolution which reflects these serious concerns.
We further call on States to take proactive steps in providing humanitarian assistance through local networks, particularly in ethnic and ceasefire areas, protect new Rohingya asylum seekers and provide material and diplomatic support to civil society, journalists and activists at risk.
The root causes of violations against the Rohingya and other minorities cannot be addressed without accountability
Panel discussion on the situation of Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar
Delivered by Kyaw Win
Thank you, Mr President, and thank you to the panellists.
CIVICUS and the Burma Human Rights Network are deeply concerned about the situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.
The Burmese military has increased its attacks on marginalised minorities throughout the country since the coup in February 2021. It frequently uses arson attacks on minority areas. Civilians have regularly been shot arbitrarily by the military in areas where no conflict or armed groups are present. Hatred and hate speech against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities has persisted.
If mass atrocities, including genocide, can be perpetrated by the military against the Rohingya, other minorities are at risk. Tensions in Chin State, too, have escalated since the coup, with the junta building up their troop presence in the state. Chin State is majority Christian and ethnic minority.
The efforts by the international community so far have not altered the junta’s course or stopped them from attacking civilians and the restrictions, arrests and attacks on civil society and journalists has made it increasingly difficult to monitor and document these crimes.
We call on the international community to stem the flow of arms and finances towards the military junta by imposing sanctions on all enterprises that the military directly profits from, particularly the energy sector, and to support a global arms embargo to prevent the military from resupplying weapons that they will use to harm and kill innocent civilians and target minority groups.
We stress again that the conditions for safe, dignified voluntary return are not in place, and have no prospect of being so while the junta remains in a position of power. The root causes of violations against the Rohingya and other minorities cannot be addressed without accountability.
We ask panellists what immediate steps can be taken to protect minority groups in Myanmar and to support civil society groups working on this?
Civic space in Myanmar is rated as "Repressed" by the CIVICUS Monitor.