Breaking Down Genocide in Myanmar

ASIA--PACIFIC, 2 Nov 2015

Al Jazeera – TRANSCEND Media Service

For eight months, a Yale University Law clinic assessed evidence obtained by Al Jazeera and Fortify Rights.

26 Oct 2015 – Over the past eight months, The Lowenstein Clinic, part of Yale University Law School, attempted to answer one question: “Is a genocide being carried out in Myanmar?”

Based on the definition of genocide provided by the 1948 International Convention of the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, and legal judgements issued by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the group was able to derive a methodology for analysing evidence from Myanmar.

The group examined firsthand testimonies, the testimonies of various secondary sources, government sanctioned propaganda material, and leaked documents obtained by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit and the non-profit human rights organisation, Fortify Rights.

Under article two of the Convention of Genocide, they were able to find strong evidence supporting that the following acts were committed in Myanmar, “with the intent to destroy in whole or in part” the Rohingya-Muslim minority:

  • Killing members of the group
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

Al Jazeera has made several requests for comment to the Myanmar President’s office and government spokespeople but has not received any response.

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