Saturday, 11 March 2017

UN: Myanmar Committing Crimes Against Humanity


A top UN official says “crimes against humanity” are being committed by the military and police against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

The UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, was speaking as part of a joint BBC Newsnight-BBC Our World investigation.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in power almost a year, declined an interview.

A spokesman for her party said the allegations were “exaggerated” and an “internal” not “international” issue.

Lee has not been given free access to the conflict area in Myanmar. But after speaking to refugees in Bangladesh she told the BBC that the situation was “far worse than she expected”.

“I would say crimes against humanity. Definite crimes against humanity... by the Burmese, Myanmar military, the border guards or the police or security forces.”

She said the problem of abuse was “systemic” within the Burmese security forces, but said that Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government should bear some of the responsibility.

“At the end of the day it is the government, the civilian government, that has to answer and respond to these massive cases of horrific torture and very inhumane crimes they have committed against their own people.”

Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) to a majority win in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 years in November 2015.

More than 70,000 Rohingya - a Muslim minority group from Myanmar - have fled into the Bangladesh in the last few months, after a militant attack in October triggered a military crackdown.



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