SDIR Committee News Release
Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
For immediate release
UPDATE ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION OF THE ROHINGYA MINORITY IN MYANMAR
Ottawa, November 24, 2016 -
In a June 2016 Report entitled Sentenced to a Slow Demise: The Plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Minority, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development reported that Myanmar’s one million Rohingya Muslims continue to be denied citizenship, freedom of movement, access to the most basic services and the freedom to worship publicly. Over 100,000 displaced Rohingya still live in the most precarious conditions in Rakhine State after deadly, large scale anti-Rohingya violence erupted in 2012. In this context, a group of Rohingya armed themselves and killed 9 police officers in the Maungdaw district of Rakhine State, on 9 October 2016.
The Subcommittee is alarmed and dismayed by the ruthless and disproportionate response by Myanmar security forces to the violence in Maungdaw district. Satellite evidence shows that, since 10 November 2016, over 1200 buildings in Rohingya villages in Maungdaw district, including mosques, have been burned to the ground. The Government of Myanmar has expelled humanitarian workers, international observers and western journalists from Rakhine State, depriving 100,000 Rohingya of food, medicine and other aid, as well as emptying the region of witnesses to the violence.
This Subcommittee condemns all acts of violence and the inaction of the government, and implores the Government of Myanmar to act swiftly to deescalate the situation in Rakhine State, to improve the lives of displaced Rohingya, and to take positive action to grant respect for the full array of human rights to which the Rohingya are entitled, including by granting their citizenship.
“The wanton destruction of civilians’ homes and places of worship is never justifiable. These acts must be seen for what they are: acts of hate.”
-Michael Levitt, M.P., Chair
“Ridding Rakhine state of international observers cannot hide that the Rohingya are living out one of the most devastating and deplorable human rights situations in the world.”
-David Sweet, M.P., Vice-Chair
“The international community cannot allow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to tolerate or downplay such attacks on Rohingya civilians.”
-Cheryl Hardcastle, M.P., Vice-Chair
- 30 -