Decades of denial as Rohingya genocide continues — Nancy Hudson-Rodd

Source: New Mandala

Pic form New Mandala.

Pic form New Mandala.

In 1992, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights assigned a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in Myanmar. This intervention by the United Nations (UN) was motivated by the need to respond to grave and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the country’s military regime against civilians, especially the persecution of the Rohingya. More than a decade later, at the 2005 World UN Summit, all member states endorsed the Responsibility to Protect, a global norm “aimed at preventing and halting Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity.” Still, genocide of the Rohingya continues.

Following a recent outbreak of violence on 9 October in which nine police officers were killed, the Myanmar military has declared the Maungdaw area an ‘operational zone’ and reportedly conducted lethal ‘clearance operations’ to hunt down Rohingya ‘militants’ accused of the attacks on three border posts, despite the assailants’ identities being unknown. Local ethnic Buddhist Rakhines have been recruited to supplement other forces, and are armed to protect Buddhist residents from Muslim militants “who never follow the laws and are trying to seize our land and extend their territory”, according to Colonel Sein Lwin, Rakhine State Police Officer. The new recruits will serve 18 months with border police then be deployed to police stations in their hometowns. Rohingya have little chance of escape. Read more

Confronting genocide in Myanmar — Katherine Southwick

Source: New Mandala

Interethnic divisions in a young democracy cannot be downplayed or wished away, and it’s time Myanmar’s government and the international community acknowledge strong evidence that genocide is being perpetrated against the Rohingya and act to end it, Katherine Southwick writes.

Violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State escalated after a 9 October attack on border guard posts, leaving nine officers dead. Humanitarian assistance and media access to the area have been cut off for weeks while the Myanmar authorities conduct a counterinsurgency operation against allegedly Rohingya assailants. Responsibility for the initial attack remains unclear, however. More than a hundred people are thought to have died already, with 30,000 internally displaced adding to the 160,000 people who have been subsisting in squalid displacement camps since previous outbreaks of violence in 2012 and 2013. Human Rights Watch has released satellite imagery showing that over 1,200 buildings in Rohingya villages have been razed in the past month. Government soldiers have reportedly gang-raped Rohingya women and girls.

Bangladesh, which for 30 years has permitted more than 230,000 registered and unregistered Rohingya refugees to shelter in its territory, has been turning people back who seek refuge across the border. Thousands have already crossed and continue to gather at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

These events mark a dramatic deterioration in what has long been a desperate situation for a minority that many have identified as among the most persecuted in the world. Most of them are stateless, with the government designating them as “Bengalis” or “illegal immigrants,” despite many having had citizenship in the past and having lived in the region for generations. They have been subjected to forced labour and confined to displacement camps where they do not receive adequate food and medical care, leaving pregnant women and children particularly at risk of agonising illness and death. Read more

The Rohingyas: Act now to stop the genocide! — Azril Mohd Amin

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Azril Mohd Amin is chief executive of Centhra while JUST Malaysia.

Azril Mohd Amin is chief executive of Centhra while JUST Malaysia.

NOVEMBER 28 — There is increasing recognition of the fact that “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingyas — a genocide — is taking place in Rakhine, Myanmar. A number of groups and individuals are coming to terms with this grim reality especially after the “evidence of a new reign of terror and wholesale destruction of communities exercised by the Myanmar state against the Rohingya population has emerged” in October/November 2016.

On November 25, 2016, the Malaysian government officially referred to the “alleged ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingyas.

Given the constraints of bilateral relations within the context of their common Asean membership, the Malaysian government has more than at any time in the past admonished the Myanmar government for its acts of commission and omission vis-à-vis the tragic plight of the Rohingya people. Read more

At the crossroads of the rule of law: Malaysia must confront challenges to international and domestic justice now — Steven Thiru

Source: The Malay Mail Online


President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru - Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru – Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

JULY 16 — Tomorrow, July 17, 2015, marks the Day of International Criminal Justice, which commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Rome Statute seeks to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, and the ICC has proven itself to be an effective mechanism to address international crimes.

In this regard, the first-year anniversary of the shooting down of MH17 on July 17, 2014, serves to focus efforts to bring the perpetrators of an international crime to justice. It also raises the question of how, and where, they are to be prosecuted once they are apprehended.

Efforts are ongoing this week at the United Nations Security Council in New York to gather support for Malaysia’s proposal to establish an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine last year.[1] This will see the participation of the Netherlands, Australia, Britain and the Ukraine, who are all members of the Joint Investigation Team.

The Malaysian Bar supports the principle that the perpetrators of this heinous act must be brought to justice. However, the government has not explained why it has chosen the route of an ad hoc international tribunal instead of the well-established ICC system. Read more

Crime analysts give their take on cross-border human traffickers

Source: The Rakyat Post

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. — Bernama file pic

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. — Bernama file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18, 2015 — Crime analysts have called for severe punishment for the culprits in the human trafficking cases related to the discovery of illegal detention camps in Perlis recently.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said those involved should even be cited for genocide or mass murder.

“However, it depends on the evidence because we can only prosecute them if we have sufficient proof,” he said. Read more