Friday, 03 December 2021 01:55 GMT

UN human rights chief asks Bangladesh to allow Rohingyas to enter freely


(MENAFN- NewsIn.Asia) Geneva, September 11 (newsin.asia): The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra'ad bin Hussein has appealed to Bangladesh to allow entry to the fleeing Rohingyas from Myanmar.

Addressing the 36 th Session of the UN Human Rights Council here on Monday, Prince Zeid said: ' I encourage the Government to maintain open borders for the Rohingya refugees, and I urge the international community's support in helping the authorities receive and better assist the refugee population. '

'I appreciate the Government's constructive engagement with my Office, and I would like to continue to work with the authorities to address the range of very serious human rights issues in the country,' he added.

Proof of Citizenship Demand Condemned

Zeid said that he is appalled to learn that the Government of Myanmar has decided to take back only those Rohingya refugees who have documents to prove that they are citizens of Myanmar.

In his address to the opening session of the 35 th.Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Prince Zeid said: ' I am appalled by reports that the Myanmar authorities have now begun to lay landmines along the border with Bangladesh, and to learn of official statements that refugees who have fled the violence will only be allowed back if they can provide proof of nationality'.

'Given that successive Myanmar governments have since 1962 progressively strippedthe Rohingya population of their political and civil rights, including citizenship rights – as acknowledged by Aung San Suu Kyi's own appointed Rakhine Advisory Commission – this measure resembles a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return.'

'Another brutal security operation is underway in Rakhine State – this time, apparently on a far greater scale. According to UNHCR, in less than three weeks over 270,000 people have fled to Bangladesh, three times more than the 87,000 who fled the previous operation.'

Prince Zeid Ra'ad bin Hussein

'Many more people reportedly remain trapped between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The operation, which is ostensibly in reaction to attacks by militants on 25 August against 30 police posts, is clearly disproportionate and without regard for basic principles of international law.'

' We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians.'

Text Book Case of Ethnic Cleansing

What is going on in Myanmar is a 'textbook case of ethnic cleansing' Prince Zeid said.

'Last year I warned that the pattern of gross violations of the human rights of the Rohingya suggested a widespread or systematic attack against the community, possibly amounting to crimes against humanity, if so established by a court of law. Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'

'The Myanmar Government should stop claiming that the Rohingyas are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages. This complete denial of reality is doing great damage to the international standing of a Government which, until recently, benefited from immense good will.'

' I call on the Government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population. I strongly urge the authorities to allow my Office unfettered access to the country.'

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