The Genocide of the ignored Rohingya

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Wednesday 7th February, UK Parliament – Restless Beings have launched their research report at the UK Parliament titled ‘The Genocide of The Ignored Rohingya’. Detailing 96 testimonies , the report makes key recommendations to the UK and Bangladesh Governments as well as international aid agencies. The report calls on the British Government to press the United Nations Security Council to make a referral to the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide.

There were more than 40 attendees at the Thatcher Room in Portcullis House with a number of MP's, academics and NGO's in attendance. The event was hosted by Anne Main MP for St Albans who herself has visited the Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh in September 2017.

At the launch, authors of the report, Mabrur Ahmed, Dilraj Tiwana and Rahima Begum called on aid agencies to pay particular attention to post traumatic disorder sufferers and to pregnant mothers. The report has found that more than 10% of those interviewed showed obvious symptoms of PTSD and 80% of pregnant women interviewed belonged to households which had received no medical support. The authors also called on aid agencies to refer to the almost 700,000 Rohingya who have arrived since last August as Genocide suffers rather than refugees.

On Genocide, Mabrur Ahmed, Director of Restless Beings and author of the report said ‘It is quite clear that in accordance with the UN Genocide Convention 1951 and its definition of genocide, that the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh are undoubtedly facing a genocide’. Citing data collected from the extensive research, he continued to say ‘The data collected from interviews for this report shows that there has been a concerted effort to kill members of the Rohingya community, cause serious bodily and mental harm, inflict unmentionable destruction on the community, maintain an agenda of sexual gender based violence, and impose immeasurable cruelty towards children by the Burmese forces’.

The 48 page report recommends that all Governments recognise the plight of the Rohingya as Genocide as all conditions laid out by the UN Genocide Convention have been met. Furthermore, it recommends that Governments therefore make request through the UN Security Council to refer Min Aung Hlaing, the Burmese Military Chief, to the ICC for Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. It goes on to also recommend further Governmental pressure towards the Aung San Suu Kyi civilian Burmese Government to repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law which rules the Rohingya as stateless and not Burmese.

Rahima Begum, Director of Restless Beings and author of the report detailed a number of interviews with Rohingya arrivals. Speaking on the repatriation of the Rohingya, she said, ‘There are still large numbers of Rohingya not receiving adequate medical support. Security is a huge concern and traffickers have been reported in the area. The heartbreaking testimonies of the Rohingya can be heard from young to old and recount harrowing atrocities and crimes committed by the Burmese military against them’.

The report goes on to recommend that aid agencies make provisions for mental health assessment and wellness, maternal health care and camp security. ‘NGO’s are urged to continue their efforts in the camps; a significant percentage of those interviewed had still not received adequate shelter. NGO’s play a vital role in the trafficking equation – unless adequate provisions are made available, the Rohingya in their desperation will turn to voluntarily being trafficked’ said Dilraj Tiwana, Restless Beings research and co-author.

The report has now been delivered to every UK Member of Parliament and the Restless Beings team will also be launching their report in Dhaka, Bangladesh in the coming days. Follow up activities and research will continue in the coming weeks and months.

For Press Enquiries, please contact Mabrur Ahmed +447506100785, Attached is an embargo copy of the report, please do not share publicly as it is available for purchase from our website. If you require additional images, please email back and a set will be provided.