Rohingya Abuses Probe Aims to ‘Obstruct International Justice’ and Protect Military
ASIA-UPDATES ON MYANMAR ROHINGYA GENOCIDE, 6 Aug 2018
2 Aug 2018 – Burma’s (Myanmar) new four-member independent commission set up to investigate abuses against the Rohingya Muslim community is nothing more than a cover-up aimed at obstructing justice rather than holding perpetrators to account, rights groups say.
“This all looks like a new phase in Myanmar’s efforts to obstruct international justice for Tatmadaw [military] and police commanders and troops who committed ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine,” Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told ucanews.com on Wednesday.
The commission was set up by Burma’s government after allegations of gross human rights abuses against the Rohingya community in northern Rakhine State.
The United Nations called the military crackdown a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” after the minority group was subjected to mass killings, rape, and torture as their villages were burned to the ground. The violence forced more than 700,000 Rohingya across the border to Bangladesh.
The Tatmadaw (military) has continued to deny the allegations and the government has repeatedly stood in the way independent investigations.
Robertson told ucanews that he believes Burma is still playing games in an attempt to divert attention from a forthcoming report from a fact-finding mission mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, due to be presented in September in Geneva.
Two international and two local members make up the government-appointed commission. Those are former Japan representative to the UN, Kenzo Oshima, and former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines, Rosario Manalo, who will lead the investigation.
The two locals are Mya Thein, a former chair of Burma’s Constitutional Tribunal, and Aung Tun Thet, a former senior official at UNICEF.
Robertson accused Manola of being more interested in playing politics than protecting rights, especially throughout her work on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
Aung Tun Thet has repeatedly denied that any ethnic cleansing has taken place in Rakhine and was part of a 2016 investigation that went against UN findings on the issue.
Other rights groups have also expressed concern at the impartiality of the group.
Khin Ohmar, chairperson of Burma-based human rights advocacy organisation Progressive Voice, told the Dhaka Tribune, “No one knows how they got selected to be on the commission and what their mandate is.”
“The process is discreet and lacks transparency, so we have no confidence in that,” he said. “It’s neither independent nor impartial.”
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
ASIA-UPDATES ON MYANMAR ROHINGYA GENOCIDE: