Appeal for the International Community to Act Urgently To End Burmese Government Repression against Rohingya Muslims


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

29 August 2012 – Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire said today that ‘the  stateless Rohingyas of Burma have suffered from persecution and discrimination for decades and are now facing inter-communal violence that has evolved into large scale state-sponsored violence against them.’

In July 2012 the Burma campaign, U.K. received the following report:

  • Burmese police, security forces and soldiers are raping, looting, torturing and arbitrarily killing Rohingya people;
  • There have been mass arrests with Rohingya people kept in detention camps without trial, without food or medical services;
  • Around 100,000 internally displaced persons are in various locations, the vast majority without receiving proper assistance because they are ethnic Rohingya.  Aid is mostly being blocked by the government; where allowed, Rohingya people have been excluded;
  • Thousands of people fled to Bangladesh where they are getting no aid or protection, while thousands more have been turned back, literally at gunpoint, in violation of international law;
  • Local authorities are refusing to allow ethnic Rohingyas back to some villages, shops and homes in a policy that appears designed to ‘cleanse’ these areas of them;
  • The president of Burma has proposed a policy that amounts to ethnic cleansing asking the United Nations to arrange for Rohingya people to be removed from Burma and sent to third countries;

Maguire said, ‘The UN and international community have a moral and  legal responsibility to  act now and step up  diplomatic and nonviolent methods   to stop the persecution and suffering of the Rohingya people and to end the  Burmese government-led abuse of human rights and repression against the Rohingyas.’


Mairead Corrigan Maguire is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See:


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Sep 2012.

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