Legal Team Finds ‘Strong Evidence’ of Rohingya Genocide in Arakan State

 Muhammad Ali, a 54-year-old Rohingya man suffering from tuberculosis for over a year, at a camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Arakan State, April 24, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Muhammad Ali, a 54-year-old Rohingya man suffering from tuberculosis for over a year, at a camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Arakan State, April 24, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — A legal analysis has found “strong evidence” that genocide is being committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in western Burma’s Arakan State, prompting a call for the United Nations to intervene.

A 78-page report, published on Thursday by the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic (LIHRC) at Yale Law School for the NGO Fortify Rights, concludes that actions and inactions by the government of Burma satisfy the criteria of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The report, based on three years of research produced by Fortify Rights, is the first to apply international law to the situation in Arakan State, also known as Rakhine, where an estimated 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship and subjected to widespread discrimination.

Examining the government’s treatment of the minority since Burma’s independence from British colonial rule in 1948, the LIHRC found evidence of consistent rights abuses that have continued into the current reform period, which began when President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government took office in 2011.

Titled “Persecution of the Rohingya Muslims: Is Genocide Occurring in Myanmar’s Rakhine State? A Legal Analysis,” the report presents historical context and new documentation of abuses committed against the minority before outlining the relevant legal criteria of genocide.

While LIHRC does not conclude definitively that genocide has occurred in Arakan State, the report suggests that the state could be responsible for either committing or failing to prevent a genocide and recommended that the United Nations establish a commission of inquiry to investigate, determine whether the crime has occurred, identify perpetrators and suggest means of ensuring they are held accountable.

“The acts committed against the Rohingya, individually and collectively, meet the criteria for finding acts enumerated in the Genocide Convention and have been perpetrated against a protected group,” the report reads, referring to the convention’s definition of “groups,” “acts” and “intent” requisite to the crime.

“Allegations of genocide should not be taken lightly,” Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, said in a press statement on Thursday. “Rohingya face existential threats, and their situation is worsening. Domestic remedies have failed. It’s time for the international community to act.”

Burma’s Rohingya population is not recognized by the government as an ethnic group, referred to instead as “Bengali” and viewed as illegal immigrants. While many have lived within Burma’s borders for generations, they have long faced obstacles to acquiring legal documents and changes to citizenship criteria in 1982 have rendered them stateless.

In 2012, riots that began in central Arakan and soon spread throughout the state disproportionately affected Rohingya communities, leaving more than 140,000 confined to camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Conditions in the camps and restrictions on movement applied to the Rohingya population at large contributed to tens of thousands of Rohingya fleeing the country by boat to seek asylum in neighboring countries.

Those departures, as well as a growing number of migrants leaving Bangladesh in search of economic opportunity, ultimately led to a migration crisis that reached its zenith earlier this year when thousands of people were abandoned at sea amid a crackdown on human trafficking syndicates.

“The plan of the government is to finish our people, to kill our people, but they cannot kill us all by the bullet,” read the testimony of a Rohingya man interviewed by Fortify Rights. “But what they can do is deny food and medicine, and if the people don’t die, they will leave the country. The government has used a different option to kill the people.”

18 Responses to Legal Team Finds ‘Strong Evidence’ of Rohingya Genocide in Arakan State

  1. Myanmar military neglected the border security for too long. Ne Win and Than Shwe used thousands and thousands of soldiers for their own security while neglecting the border security. During their dictatorships, countless Bengali people moved into Arakan State. Today, Maungdaw, Butheetaung and Yathetaung townships are totally occupied by the Bengali. It is impossible now to kick these Bengali out of Arakan since children and grandchildren were born on the soil of Arakan. This issue is caused by military dictatorships which ignored the security of the nation and its sovereignty. The Arakanese people lost their three townships of their land to these Bengali people in the hands of military rule.

    Lashio from Northern Shan State has more Chinese than the Shans and the Myanmar ethnics. Many of these Chinese speak no Myanmar nor Shan since they just bought Myanmar citizen cards from corrupt military officers. Mandalay is now the Chinese capital in Myanmar. Many Chinese in Mandalay don’t speak Myanmar since they just moved there thru corrupt military officers who sold the Myanmar citizenship cards to the Chinese as cheap as $ 300 per card.

    So, Suu Kyi and NLD must be given a chance to fix what military dictatorship ruined.

    • General Ne Win Did Not Neglect The Border Security Of Burma.
      It Was The USA Who Encouraged Ne Win To Allow Those Deserters Kuomintang Army Soldiers To Mass Along The Burmese Border With China So That These Soldiers Could Harassed Communist China.
      Remember General Ne Win The Only Burmese President Ever To Visit The White House.

      • Please do not twist the history . Who fought and repel the Kuomintang (KMT) invasion in northern Burma in this time.? Burma Army. Who is commander in chief that time ? Gen Ne Win. There are no two Gen Ne Win in Burmese history. Read the book , it call “Burma in revolt. ” During the Cold War , US welcome every one who come out against the communist domination. Even US allowed hundreds of former NAZI soldier from Germany to join the US army to fight in North Korea. You need to read.OK

  2. I read this news from media outlet from all over the world. Now, that look like spin out of control. We may poor or rich, christian or buddha, black or brown, no matter what ? we have to learn to live with humanity.There is no excuse for lost of humanity.Some people try to replace the humanity with race, religion , nationalism and patriotism. Who ever try to benefit from this man made tragedy going to pay the price. That problem not going away in future.I know what they going to do next.

  3. Have mercy for those Bengalis enjoying a long vacation at the beach head with love /fresh air.You may accept and assimilate into Yale-New Haven region and enjoy each other. They may still be upset, if you all do not become Muslims. Your logo may have to change too. Go- fly a kite.

    • There are 140,000 Rohingya in IDP camp. that obviously point out that we do have the Rohingya Crisis in our nation. If the crisis is small and under manageable by our Govt, that is a domestic crisis. If we can not solve the crisis by our own, that going to international crisis.As a citizen, I can say what I want but as a Govt, that is a different story. In future, that crisis will hider our relation with other nation. Govt know this problem very well. One day, even Daw Su try to solve the crisis right way, many people going to hate her. Never the less, every right decision for nation may not popular among the people.

  4. None of us believe it at all. The the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic (LIHRC) is either biased to or bought by the Muslims. There’s no genocide except 1942 seasonal workers turned V-force Bengalis, trained by British, raped and killed and burnt Rakhine girls, ladies, and men, all innocent citizens of more than 200 villages in Moundaw, Butheedaung, Yathaedaung region of Rakhine.

    Any one could take a photo of a sick man in bed and shows this is the proof of a genocide. What a brain!! We’ll never (never) accept it. There’s no R-word pigs in our country. Of course, we have a few illegal Kawtaw or Bengalis. We may give a few of them a citizen status, but never a ethnic status. Even Bangladesh denies the existence of R-word race in it’s territory.

    Therefore, if LIHRC has no real work to do, you better lobby USA, Canada, and Western countries to take all those self-acclaimed R guys in their respective country.

  5. As I have observed for over 46 years, the Rohingya Genocide was started by Gen. Ne Win and inherited by the successive ruling Military Generals. The final blown was carried out by Gen. Than Shwe and continued by General turned President Thein Sein with the help of Ashin Wirathu and Ma Ba Tha. They have already tested the extension of the Plan to the main Muslim population throughout the country.

  6. First, Al-jazeera sees genocides only in non-Islamic countries, while hundreds of genocides in the Muslim countries pass right under their foul-smelling nose. Racism in Malaysia is no racism for them. Human rights abuse and violations in Syria and Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East is philharmonic orchestra to their ears. Above all the doctored stories are their best articles. Anything else? Now go to your tribunal, the Islamic Middle East style. The UN being a bad joke with a sheikh to look after the human rights. What more sarcasm are you going to present the world?

  7. If you border Bangladesh, common sense tells me that you’ll have ethnic “Bengalis” in your side of the fence, just as you have ethnic Buddhist in Bangladesh, who are recognized as full fledged Bangladesh citizens.
    The people on the Burma side of the fence have to be accorded the same rights as all other Burmese by International law. These are NOT illegal Bengali invaders like some of the idiots posting on the blog here.

    The real invaders are the Burmese kings who occupied and annexed Rakhine 200 years ago. Even an idiot can see that.

  8. Exceptionally detailed and factual commentaries.

    We are being swallowed. We have been sold out. A bunch of traitors had ruined the country worse than Narathihapate .

  9. Burma has not learned anything from it’s tragic past and seems to be sliding back to the same old xenophobic and anti-foreigner mindset that destroyed the once promising country into ruins.

    Fifty years ago the “Kalar” and “Tayoke” were blamed for the income disparity between the haves and the have-nots and their businesses were nationalized without fair compensation.

    I see the same xenophobic strain of nationalism rearing it’s ugly head once again. Take the plight of the Rohingya’s for example. If Burma shares a border with a nation called Bangladesh, isn’t it common sense that Bengali nationals will obviously be in the Burma side of the fence? Why denigrate them as “Illegal Bengali” invaders? Look at your neighbors in Singapore and learn how diversity and inclusion can be beneficial to the development of the the country.

  10. To avoid criticism, our government should see to it that these people receive security, decent health care and education while they are in our country, until the final solution is found.

    • Scholar, I’m sure you meant “final resolution” to the Rohingya crisis.

      Final solution brings back ugly memories of WWII era gas chambers used by the Nazi’s to exterminate the Jewish minorities in Europe.

    • Who receives ‘security, decent health care and education’ in our country? Can you please point it out?

  11. People can talk and talk.
    Myanmar cannot and will not tolerate abuse of women, children,animals , religion and secession .

    Myanmars, whether they are USDP, NLD or Clergy will defend their nation to the last man.

    That law group from Yale must be biased or bribed or both..

    Jews and Arabs may have conflict in The Middle East, it is interesting to hear a Tunisian Ambassador saying ” we both came from Abraham”/.

  12. Truth is a bitter capsule to swallow. USDP leaders didn’t even spare the students, innocent people of own and even the monks. Why we talking about Malaysia, Middle East etc? Thousands of Burmese are living in Gulf rich countries and Malaysia earning and feeding their families back home. Yes the so called tyrants Saddam and Gaddafi were removed and punished. I wonder why International community is not taking any actions against the butchers of Burma, like Than Shwe, Thein Sein and their poodle fake monk Wirathu. These butchers should in the Hague dock for crimes against humanity. The big butcher Ne Win who murdered many Chinese in 60s and looted Burma is now rotting in Hell. Until unless Ma BaTha is not banned Burma will never progress and no real democracy will be achieved. Even if NLD wins there is no guarantee that these thugs fake beggar monks will keep quite.
    It’s time UN and Super Powers should take action and serve justice to those innocent victims. Genocide took place and the is no doubt about it. The World has seen the video clips and the meikthila incident as well. I can’t forget the burning of a man in meikthila by Burmese mobs and by buddisht monks which went viral on BBC TV. USDP leaders and Ma Ba Tha is responsible for the atrocities as well. So don’t try to cover these facts by your lies who ever as supporters of USDP murderers. I am neither Rohingya nor a politician. But humanity comes first. Justice should be done.

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