Press Release: UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee Should Focus on Violations of International Law
January 7, 2015
UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee Should Focus on Violations of International Law
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK today called on UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee to make violations of international law against the Rohingya the main focus when she visits Rakhine State, Burma.
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK is also calling on Yanghee Lee to recommend that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon personally take the lead in negotiating international humanitarian access in Rakhine State.
Yanghee Lee has said she will assess whether there have been any improvements in the situation of IDPs since her last visit. In the past two years there has been a succession of high level UN officials visiting the IDP camps in Rakhine State and stating that conditions there are unacceptable and among the worst they have seen in the world. It is clear that current efforts to make incremental improvements are not sufficient and the high level intervention of the Secretary General himself is now required.
UN Special Rapporteurs have been documenting human rights abuses and violations of international law against the Rohingya for decades, and yet the situation has dramatically worsened, rather than improved. It is now time, therefore, for the UN to take the next step and set up an independent international investigation into human rights violations against the Rohingya. This should include both human rights violations such as ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and other abuses already documented by the UN and international NGOs, and also include the policies of the national and state government which target the Rohingya as part of their policy of attempting to drive the Rohingya out of Burma.
“The visit of the Special Rapporteur is important to continue to highlight the human rights violations against the Rohingya, but the international community already knows what is going on and is trying to avoid its responsibility to take action”, said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “By making two practical recommendations, for an international investigation and for Ban Ki-moon to take the lead in negotiating humanitarian access, the Special Rapporteur will be taking the next logical steps in addressing these problems.”
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 7888 714 866.