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Birmingham Councillors demand action over Rohingya human rights abuses in Burma

By Neil Elkes 
Birmingham Mail
July 13, 2015

Almost all councillors sign letter to Foreign Secretary calling for United Nations intervention in Burma

Councillor Mariam Khan speaking at Birmingham protest for Rohingya minority

More than 100 Birmingham City Councillors have signed a letter calling on the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to take a lead in the fight against human rights abuses in Burma.

The letter calls on the British Government to use its influence on the United National Security Council to intervene in Burma and put a stop to the genocide and persecution of the Muslim Rohingya people of Burma.

The Rohingya people have been described as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities” and are denied basic citizenship in Burma, have been herded into ghettos.

Recently many have fled persecution to neighbouring countries where they are being housed in refugee camps. Others have been abandoned by human traffickers and in May mass graves were found along the borders

Rohingya migrants sit inside a temporary shelter at Kuala Langsa Port in Langsa, Aceh

Now Birmingham’s councillors want Britain to back a United Nations resolution demanding the Burmese Government grant citizenship to Rohingya people, allow UN observers and peace keeping forces in and bring to justice those responsible for the genocide.

Two Labour councillors Waseem Zaffar (Lozells and East Handsworth) and Mariam Khan (Washwood Heath) composed the letter and secured the signature of almost all of their colleagues.

Coun Khan said: “I am pleased that 101 Birmingham City Councillors, including the three party leaders, signed and supported my letter to the Foreign Secretary highlighting the genocide in Rohingya people in Burma.

“This genocide must stop and our Government should be taking a lead at the United Nations Security Council to call for an end to ethnic cleansing of the innocent Rohingya people.

“As someone who is passionate about human rights, it is important for me to highlight this atrocity especially as we mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrinica.”

The Srebrinica massacre of July 1995 saw the deaths of 8,000 Bosnians and was the worst human rights atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.

Birmingham protest in support of the persecuted Rohingya minority in Burma

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