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MEP gives Rohingya Muslims a voice in EU: Resolution to be voted on June 13

June 11, 2013

Brussels: A crucial European Parliament resolution has been signed by British MEP, Sajjad Karim, which calls for an end to discriminatory policies against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.

The Muslim minority, termed by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities on the planet, have been subject to repeated anti-Muslim attacks since the country's military rule in 1962. There have been many shocking instances of the army being involved in killing, raping and torturing the Rohingya Muslim population.

Since the election of President Thein Sein in March 2011, sectarian violence has erupted with the situation of the Rohingya Muslims further exasperated by the persistent denial of basic human rights and discriminatory laws which has resulted in the government expelling the community.

The Rohingya Muslims are classed as 'stateless' due to the Burmese government refusing to recognise the minority.

The European Parliament resolution, which will be voted on Thursday 13th June, calls on Burma's neighbours to come to the aid of the 1 million refugees and to put pressure on the Burmese government to end policies such as the two child regulation.

The European Parliament resolution was drafted and signed by Conservative Legal Affairs spokesperson, Sajjad Karim, and aims to highlight the growing plight of the Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Karim said:

"I am seeking to reassure the Rohingya Muslim community that their plight is not forgotten. My colleagues and I in the EU are working tirelessly to ensure that enough aid is being sent and distributed to the refugee camps, and that political pressure is being exerted on the government of Burma."

"I understand the terrible conditions of the camps, the remote locations, and poor infrastructure is making aid delivery difficult. However we are calling on the assistance of Burma's neighbours to provide support before the impending monsoon season.

The resolution notes the devastating effects the monsoon weather can have on the Rohingya Muslims, many of who are staying in make shift or inadequate shelter.

An estimated 1 million Rohingyas have left the country, with 300 000 to Bangladesh alone. 

Mr Karim continued:

"I strongly believe that Burma's neighbours such as Bangladesh, India and Thailand need to step up and show leadership in facilitating an equitable solution. This humanitarian crisis has no place in our world.

The EU recently provided 5.5million euros to the displaced people and is working with UN agencies to distribute food and supplies to the Rohingya community.

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