UN rights chief urges end to rights violations against Rohingya Muslims
The UN human rights chief has blasted Myanmar for committing “grave” human rights violations against its Rohingya Muslims, calling on the Naypyidaw government to stop the crimes against the persecuted minority.
“The Government of Myanmar must immediately halt these grave human rights violations against its own people, instead of continuing to deny they have occurred,” Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein said in a statement on Friday.
The statement cited a report compiled by the world body on rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State since last October, when Yangon placed the state under a military lockdown.
The measure was part of a “counterinsurgency” push since an alleged attack on the country’s border guards on October 9. Nine police officers were killed in that attack, which the government blamed on armed Rohingyas.
The UN official commissioned the report after Myanmar denied the world body access to the state. The report cites evidence from more than 200 of the Muslims, who have fled the violence to Bangladesh.
According to the report, hundreds have likely been killed in the crackdown, including an eight-month-old infant, who was slain while his mother was being gang-raped by security officers, and three children aged six or younger, who were “slaughtered with knives.”
“What kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk,” Hussein asked. “What kind of ‘clearance operation’ is this? What national security goals could possibly be served by this?” he added.
The 1.1 million-strong Rohingya community, which the government brands as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, has been suffering widely-reported systematic aggression for years.
The violence fueled by Buddhist extremists has been interpreted as an attempt to force them out of the country’s demographic configuration.