Tuesday, March 13, 2018

War Crimes of a Nobel Peace Winner

Speaking to the Human Rights Council, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said that “the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more” in Myanmar.

 “The government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable,” added Yee. Much of the international focus has been on the role of Aung San Suu Kyi in the campaign of violence. Speaking to reporters, Yee said that “complicity is a very serious issue” but added that she had a “little element of hope” that the Nobel peace prize winner “will put her foot down and say once and for all let’s stop this”.

Yee called for the creation of an independent investigative body to “investigate, document, collect, consolidate, map, and analyse evidence of human rights violations and abuses”. This “master database”, she said, could then be used as the basis to put the “individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups” on trial in international criminal courts or tribunals.
Chair of the fact-finding mission, Marzuki Darusman, the former Indonesian attorney general, said the Myanmar government’s continued denial of any culpability for the violence in Rahkine was “untenable”.
Just last week the Myanmar military released a lengthy denial stating that the Rohingya – who they refer to as “illegal Bengalis”– had burned down their own villages and that their own investigation had concluded “security personnel did not commit extrajudicial killings or sexually abuse and rape women. There was no unlawful detention of people, beating, killing and arson as well.” Darusman said they had “hundreds of credible accounts of the most harrowing nature” including corroborated evidence of brutal gang rapes, sexual violence against women and the killing of babies and children. “People died from gunshot wounds, often due to indiscriminate shooting at fleeing villagers. Some were burned alive in their homes – often the elderly, disabled and young children. Others were hacked to death,” the experts told the human rights council.

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