NUG Rights Minister Demands Justice for Rohingya
By The Irrawaddy 23 February 2023
Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government’s (NUG) human rights minister U Aung Myo Min says the crimes of genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar committed six years ago must be acknowledged and justice sought for the victims.
The minister attended an event to mark the second anniversary of the launch of the Spring Revolution against the regime and the sixth anniversary of the Rohingya massacres, held at the United States Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.
U Aung Myo Min told the event that the crimes of genocide committed against Rohingya in Rakhine State in 2017 cannot be denied.
“It is required to acknowledge those crimes and work to ensure that justice is served,” the minister said.
The event was hosted by the US representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor and Naomi Kikoler, director at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and attended by diplomats and Rohingya activists.
The US has said Myanmar’s 2017 crackdown on Rohingya constituted genocide.
In 2017, Myanmar’s military carried out a brutal campaign against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, forcing over 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Those who fled said civilians were subjected to extrajudicial killings, rape and arson attacks by the security forces.
UN investigators said the operation had “genocidal intent”.
The NUG expressed great shame over the historic exclusionary and discriminatory policies, practices and rhetoric against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups, which laid the groundwork for the military to escalate its atrocities.
The NUG declared that the Rohingya should have full citizenship rights in Myanmar and pledged it would pursue accountability in a policy announced on June 2021.
But these actions face significant obstacles as they are contingent on the establishment of democracy, the ending of other atrocities and the defeat of the junta, said the NUG.
U Aung Myo Min discussed some steps that the NUG has taken, including recognizing the extent and scale of the atrocities against the Rohingya, cooperating with the International Court of Justice and the UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar to pursue justice, working for a complete overhaul of discriminatory laws and a new Citizenship Act that bases citizenship on birth in Myanmar or birth anywhere as a child of a citizen, and to repeal the Race and Religion Protection Laws of 2015.
The minister also met Rohingya representatives, including women and young people from refugee camps in Cox Bazar in eastern Bangladesh.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “Justice for all including Rohingya is a must. Urgent action and #justice needed now in Myanmar!”