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CSW joins over 50 organisations calling for US State Department action on Rohingya crisis

16 Jul 2020

CSW has joined over 50 organisations in signing a petition urging United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to formally and publicly declare crimes against Burma’s (Myanmar’s) Rohingya people as genocide.

The petition, co-ordinated by NGO Refugees International, states: “A U.S. government determination of genocide and crimes against humanity would subject Myanmar and its military to much needed international scrutiny at a time when the military continues to target Rohingya and other civilians in Myanmar. In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that is the predominant focus of governments around the world, a determination would also help to ensure continued international attention on the plight of the Rohingya.”

In August 2017 the Myanmar army launched attacks on Rohingya villages and civilians which resulted in over 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh, thousands killed and hundreds of villages burned. Reports of the atrocities of mass violence perpetrated during this period include the burning of homes, schools and mosques, the deliberate burning of people to death inside their homes, mass rape, torture, execution without trial and the blocking of aid.

The UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Burma has said that the violence against the Rohingya has the “hallmarks” of genocide, and the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN Human Rights Council claims to have documented evidence of genocide. In January 2020 the International Court of Justice ordered Burma to take immediate “provisional measures” to prevent genocide against the Rohingya, and to preserve evidence of alleged crimes against the Rohingya, after charges were brought to the Court by The Gambia in November 2019.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “It has now been nearly four years since the Burmese military launched its horrific campaign of violence against the Rohingya people and yet international action remains insufficient and inadequate. Little has been done to hold the perpetrators of these crimes to account for their actions. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas remain forcibly displaced from their homes and the military continues to target these and other religious and ethnic minorities across the country. Today, CSW joins over 50 organisations in calling on the US State Department to declare the crimes against Rohingya as genocide as an important step towards further international attention and action on the issue.”

Notes to editors:

1.       Click here to read the petition, also available in Burmese, and as an audio translation in Rohingya.

2.       A full list of signatories to the petition is as follows:

1.       21Wilberforce

2.       Action Corps

3.       ALTSEAN-Burma

4.       Americans for Rohingya

5.       Arakan Rohingya National Organization

6.       Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights

7.       Bethany Christian Service

8.       Burma Campaign UK

9.       Burma Human Rights Network

10.    Burma Rohingya Organization UK

11.    Burma Task Force

12.    Burma Rohingya Association of North America

13.    Burmese Rohingya Association of Japan

14.    Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark

15.    Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organization

16.    Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

17.    Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice

18.    Christian Solidarity Worldwide

19.    European Rohingya Council

20.    Fortify Rights

21.    Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

22.    Global Witness

23.    HIAS

24.    Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust

25.    Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University

26.    International Campaign for the Rohingya

27.    International Interfaith Peace Corps

28.    International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London

29.    Jewish World Watch

30.    Justice4Rohingya UK

31.    Kaladan Press Network

32.    Karen Organization of America

33.    Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

34.    Never Again Coalition

35.    Partners Relief and Development

36.    Progressive Voice

37.    Queensland Rohingya Community Inc.

38.    Refugees International

39.    Restless Beings

40.    Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

41.    Rohingya Action Ireland

42.    Rohingya Human Rights Monitoring Network

43.    Rohingya Human Rights Network

44.    RohingyaKhobor

45.    Rohingya Post

46.    Rohingya Refugee Network

47.    Rohingya Student Network

48.    Rohingya Student Union

49.    Rohingya Women Empowerment Initiative

50.    Rohingya Youth for Legal Action

51.    STAND: The student-led movement to end mass atrocities

52.    Step Ahead

53.    Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

54.    US Campaign for Burma

55.    Witness



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