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Press Release: International Community Silent on New Rohingya Crackdown

International Community Silent on New Rohingya Crackdown

November 19, 2014

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK today called on the international community to end its silence over a new wave of repression against the Rohingya which began in September.

The crackdown in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships started on September 25th. The crackdown is a continuation of the policy of making life so unbearable for Rohingya people that they flee their homeland. This plan is working and between ten and twelve thousand Rohingya have fled Burma since this new crackdown began. 

The crackdown may also be designed to try to intimidate Rohingya into accepting the Rakhine State Action Plan, the first draft of which sets many conditions which are unacceptable to the Rohingya, including being forced to pretend that we are Bengali, only receiving third class citizenship which is easy to revoke, and those who refuse or cannot provide documentation being placed into camps.

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK has received multiple reports about human rights violations, including:

· Between 150-175 arbitrary arrests, particularly targeting community leaders and prominent members of the Rohingya community. 

· Families not being told what have happened to their relatives who have been arrested, what they have been charged with, and not being allowed to visit them.

· The dead bodies of four of those who were arrested being returned to families with evidence of torture on their bodies. The families believe they were tortured to death. 

· Whole villages being raided.

· Widespread extortion by Border Guard Police.

The government of Burma claims that the new wave of repression is an anti-terrorist crackdown targeting the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO). This is a false claim. The people being arrested are not associated with the RSO. The Burmese government has a long track record of describing people it doesn’t like, be they from an ethnic group or political organisation, as terrorists. 

“Since September we have seen mass arrests, repression, torture, killings and more than ten thousand Rohingya driven from Burma, and there has been silence about this new crackdown from the international community,” said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “Things are getting steadily worse for the Rohingya, and the response of the international community is getting steadily weaker. The Rakhine State Action Plan is part of the problem, not the solution. The focus must now be on international action on the multiple violations of international law taking place against the Rohingya.”

For more information contact Tun Khin on +44 788 871 4866

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