Just days before US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to visit Burma, more than 100 security forces came to the Rohingya IDPs camp in Thandawlee village in Sittwe, capital of Arakan State, and killed one Rohingya and seriously injured two others. More than 15 Rohingyas were arrested by security forces. At the same time, Rohingyas in Buthidaung and Maungdaw, in northern Arakan, have been arrested, threatened and harassed while the government attempts to collect population data.
"If the US government wants to see clear progress on the Rohingya issue in Burma, John Kerry should be setting timelines and benchmarks for progress, including to restore Rohingya citizenship and for the lifting of restrictions on aid, movement, marriage and education in Arakan," said BROUK's President Tun Khin.
Since June 2012, violence against the Rohingya has continued and the situation continues to deteriorate. In March, hundreds of aid workers were evacuated after facing attacks. More than 150 Rohingyas and 20 pregnant women died in the two weeks after Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were expelled from Arakan in March. Many children have died because of malnutrition. Although MSF have now been allowed back into Arakan, there are still serious restrictions on aid and movement for the thousands of Rohingya IDPs.
"The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma has stated that the widespread and systematic human rights violations in Arakan State 'may constitute crimes against humanity'. The US government should be supporting an international investigation into human rights abuses in Arakan State" said Tun Khin, President of BROUK.
BROUK urges US Secretary of State John Kerry;
- To support an independent international investigation into human rights abuses in Arakan.
- To put pressure on President Thein Sein (i) to stop immediately the violence and crimes against the Rohingya and to protect the lives of Rohingya (ii)to allow humanitarian NGOs full and free access to the Rohingya in all parts of Arakan; (iii) to repeal or amend the 1982 Citizenship Law in order that it conforms with international standards; (iv) to stop the segregation of communities in Arakan and replace it with a proactive policy of 'peaceful co-existence'.
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 7888 714 866.