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Iran Press TV

Abuse of Rohingyas in Myanmar may be crime against humanity: UN

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:38AM

The United Nations (UN) has warned that ongoing, widespread human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar could be tantamount to "crimes against humanity."

In a statement on Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed alarm over reports of serious rights violations in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.

The UN body said that the Myanmarese government "has largely failed to act on the recommendations" made in a June report that "raised the possibility that the pattern of violations against the Rohingya may amount to crimes against humanity."

The report documented a wide range of human rights violations and abuses against the Rohingya, including arbitrary deprivation of nationality, severe restrictions on freedom of movement, threats to life and security, denial of rights to health and education, forced labor and sexual violence.

The UN rights office further called on the Myanmarese government to respect international humanitarian law and the rights of internally displaced persons, warning that continued failure to do so would draw a sharp response from the international community.

The military has launched a crackdown on the Rohingyas in Rakhine, where they are concentrated, since an attack on the country's border guards on October 9 left nine police officers dead. The government blamed the Rohingyas for the assault.

There have been numerous accounts by eyewitnesses of summary executions, rapes and arson attacks against the Rohingyas by security forces.

The military has blocked access to Rakhine and banned journalists and aid workers from entering the zone.

At least 30,000 Rohingya have been internally displaced in Rakhine, while thousands of others have tried to reach Bangladesh over the last month to seek refuge amongst the Rohingya refugee population that already lives there.

Bangladesh has also started to crack down on the incoming refugees by either preventing them at border transit points or confining them to refugee camps.

Rakhine, home to around 1.1 million members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community, has been the scene of violence against the ethnic Muslims since 2012.

Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been hailed by some as a "democracy icon" and has been awarded the Nobel peace prize, has remained largely silent on the plight of the refugees.

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