BHRC co-Vice Chair tells BBC: Rohingya crisis “bears all the hallmarks of genocide”

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On BBC World, BHRC co-Vice Char Schona Jolly QC raised serious concern for the situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar and calling for the international community to put pressure on Myanmar to end the violence and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

In the interview, Schona laid out the difficulty in proving the intent to commit genocide because Myanmar authorities are failing to grant access to the region to any independent, international organisations. However, the consistency in the accounts from those displaced by the violence in Rakhine State and the decades of discrimination against Muslims in Myanmar lend credibility to the accusations of atrocity crimes and genocide.

“The increasing evidence coming out of the refugee camps in Bangladesh, various reports by different organisations showing widespread systematic attacks, mass sexual violence, mass torture, mass displacement of a third of the population, it is pointing to genocide.”

Jolly called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court for investigation, and for an independent and impartial investigation into the atrocities.

“The international community must act.”

Schona was also joined by Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK, from Cox’s Bizarre who has conducted interviews with Rohyinga Muslims displaced in Bangladesh. They have documented these cases and published their stories, and agreed that a proper, legal investigation is paramount in seeking justice for these atrocities. He said “the one thing we cannot allow here is impunity for people who have committed what are clearly, crimes on a huge scale against an incredibly vulnerable population, including many children.”

 

You can read more on Schona’s views of the Rohingya crisis here.

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