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Arakan Rohingya Union at the 28th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

RB News
March 23, 2015

UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Provides Compelling Report on Human Right Violations in Arakan State

Arakan Rohingya Union Director General Dr. Wakar Uddin and OIC-Geneva Mission Head Amb Slimane Chick at the main session of the UN Human Rights Council

Geneva, Switzerland -- The 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva March 2-27, 2015, and the Rohingya Human Rights session was programmed for the afternoon session on March 16, 2015. At the main session, UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, provided an astounding report on the human right violations committed by the Government of Myanmar against Rohingya ethnic minority in Arakan state in Myanmar. Director General of Arakan Rohingya Union, Dr. Wakar Uddin, along with the members of The European Rohingya Council and the ARU’s Global Rohingya Center attended the conference.

ARU-DG Dr. Wakar Uddin with UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee at the 28th Session

The UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, provided all the aspects of the plights of Rohingya people in Myanmar based on her personal experiences where she witnessed the daily suffering of the Rohingya people during her visits to Arakan state. Ms. Lee described the situation in Rohingya IDP camps as ‘abysmal ’. She provided the details of the violations of human rights committed by the Government officials and armed forces in Arakan state fueled by the policy of the Government of Myanmar. She also spoke about ‘White Card’ and voting rights of the Rohingya. The Special Rapporteur stressed the continuous instability in the country caused the hate speech by the radical Buddhist monks instigating the violence against Rohingya by Buddhist Rakhine. She has also highlighted the abusive and insulting language against international dignitaries used by the leader of the radical Buddhist ‘969’ movement. The Special Rapporteur has called on the international community and the Government of Myanmar to find a solution to the Rohingya issue in an expedient manner.

ARU-DG with Ambassadors of Algeria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain at the 28th Session
ARU-DG with Head of the Political Section of European Union and Latvia Rep to EU at the 28th Session

Over 40 countries and several NGOs made statements on the Rohingya issue where almost all of them shared the view of the UN Special Rapporteur. Amongst them, the Government of United States, several European countries, Saudi Arabia, OIC, and Human Rights Watch expressed the strongest support for the cause of Rohingya. The Myanmar representative refuted most of the testimony by the Special Rapportuer and often used ‘transition to democracy’ as a pre-text for all the violations by the Government of Myanmar. The Myanmar representative bluntly rejected the ethnic identity of Rohingya and disregarded the indigeneity of the Rohingya people in Arakan. 

In the side event, Dr. Wakar Uddin, DG of ARU, and GRC Representative Dr. Mohammed Taher Siraj spoke on ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar. Their presentations covered the situation on the ground in Arakan, the Government’s hostile policy towards Rohingya that is triggering the violence by Buddhist Rakhine, verification process as a tool for second-class citizenship or internment in camps, and several other issues. Their speech vastly reflected the reports of the Special Rapporteur. The Arab League meeting at the session also discussed the Rohingya issue, and ARU-DG stressed the need for the Arab League and all the OIC member states to increase their efforts and speak out through all multi-lateral and bilateral relations with Myanmar. The resolution on Rohingya human rights at the 28th HRC is due to be released shortly.

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