NGOs denounce ‘crimes against humanity’ in Myanmar
NEW YORK: Nearly 90 non-governmental organizations have denounced “crimes against humanity” committed by authorities in Myanmar against the Muslim Rohingya minority and called on the international community to take action.
Half a million Rohingya have crushed into camps in Bangladesh in just over a month, fleeing a military campaign in Myanmar and communal violence.
“As more evidence emerges, it is clear that the atrocities committed by Myanmar state security forces amount to crimes against humanity,” a joint statement from the groups said.
The 88 NGOs, which included Amnesty International and the AFL-CIO called on UN member states to take “urgent action” to address the crisis.
“In particular, we call on all states to immediately suspend military assistance and cooperation with Myanmar,” said the statement, text of which was released by Human Rights Watch.
Attacks on police posts in Rakhine state by Rohingya militants on August 25 set the crisis in motion.
Myanmar’s military said it is targeting militants who carried out the attacks, but its operations have been so sweeping and brutal that the UN says it likely amounts to “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, a group reviled by many in the mainly Buddhist country.
Rohingya who fled say they survived slaughter by soldiers and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who were once their neighbors. Ethnic Rakhine and Hindus have also been displaced inside Rakhine, accusing Rohingya militants of atrocities.