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Myanmar State Commission rejects UN criticism of Rohingya Muslims Abuse Investigation

Myanmar Government has been denied criticisms pointed by foreign countries about the assaults and harassments towarsd the Rohingya community by military

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FILE - The United Nations headquarters building is pictured though a window with the UN logo in the foreground. VOA

Yangon, Feb 7, 2017: A Myanmar state commission, probing allegations the military has murdered, assaulted and violated Rohingya Muslims rejected accusations. It is not credible, the Commission said today focusing on the “truth” and not pleasing the UN.

Last week the Human Rights Office of United Nations demanded Myanmar’s military had likely slaughtered hundreds of Rohingya during a continuing crackdown in a “calculated policy of terror” against the Muslim minority.

According to reports, nearly 70,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the army launched “clearance operations” four months ago to find Rohingya militants allegedly carrying out deadly raids on police border posts, mentioned PTI.

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The report by the UN’s rights body OHCHR said the accounts of crimes like torture, murder and gang-rape committed at the hands of security forces were so severe that it may amount to ethnic cleansing.

Among the testimonies published there were a number of accounts of children massacred with knives while their mothers were molested by security forces.

For months Myanmar dismissed such testimonies assembled by foreign media and human rights groups and curtailed access to the region.

Following last week’s UN report, a spokesman for Myanmar’s president stated that the government was very much concerned by the “extremely serious allegations” and would take measures to look into these issues through the Rakhine commission.

Critics have denied the state-appointed body, which was led by retired general and Vice President Myint Swe and consists of no Muslims, as toothless and lacking in credibility, mentioned AFP report.

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Last month it issued an interim report that rejected the allegations that claimed the troops had carried out a genocidal campaign against the Rohingya minority and saying it had found “insufficient evidence” of rape.

“The existing commission is not a credible option to undertake the new investigation,” the UN’s top official on preventing genocide, Adama Dieng, said in his staement in New York on Monday.

“I am concerned that the government commission… found nothing to substantiate the claims, while OHCHR… found an overwhelming number of testimonies and other forms of evidence,” he added.

But commission member Aung Tun Thet rejected the criticism, pointing out the fact that the body was focused on getting “fair results” and not impressing the international community.

“What’s more important than refuting them (the UN) is finding the truth,” Aung Tun Thet, a retired UN adviser, told the media. “There will be criticism however hard you try. But for the commission, we must work out the truth of the situation.”

The Rakhine commission is the second body created by Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a national attempt to heal the religious divide in the state since sectarian unrest caused the death of more than 100 people in 2012, mentioned PTI.

In August she fellow Nobel laureate and former UN chief Kofi Annan was appointed to lead a separate body tasked with investigating solutions for the sectarian-plagued region.

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Buddhist nationalists have bitterly proclaimed that body as foreign meddling.

There are more than a million people belonging to the Rohingya community in Rakhine state, where they are considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and forced to live in a situation akin to apartheid.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

  • justice4 world

    Trump again berated the world media saying they are total dishonest on Tuesday ,Feb 7 2017.
    “I don’t mind a bad story if it’s true. I don’t like bad stories, stories that should be a positive story when they make them totally negative.”
    He has also accused a section of the American media, including The New York Times, of running “fake news”.

    The foreign media interviews in Cox’s bazar,Bangladesh conducted with
    Bengali Rohingya refugees are largely fake and exaggerated.
    None of the news portals report facts, just fictional accounts.
    Usually the Bengali Rohingya terrorists and the Bengali Rohingya Right group
    coach Bengali rohingya refugees to lie, to cry when media interviewing.
    The stories of rape and extra-judicial killings are mass-transmitted
    and in no way are they fabricated
    unless the entire population in addition to all media outlets and
    human-rights organizations have conspired together.

SHARE
  • justice4 world

    Trump again berated the world media saying they are total dishonest on Tuesday ,Feb 7 2017.
    “I don’t mind a bad story if it’s true. I don’t like bad stories, stories that should be a positive story when they make them totally negative.”
    He has also accused a section of the American media, including The New York Times, of running “fake news”.

    The foreign media interviews in Cox’s bazar,Bangladesh conducted with
    Bengali Rohingya refugees are largely fake and exaggerated.
    None of the news portals report facts, just fictional accounts.
    Usually the Bengali Rohingya terrorists and the Bengali Rohingya Right group
    coach Bengali rohingya refugees to lie, to cry when media interviewing.
    The stories of rape and extra-judicial killings are mass-transmitted
    and in no way are they fabricated
    unless the entire population in addition to all media outlets and
    human-rights organizations have conspired together.

Next Story

Concerns Rise Over China’s Stand at United Nations Human Rights Council

China has passed human rights reviews twice before this one, while more than 120 countries Beijing's human rights record during the most recent process.

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The 22nd session of the U.N. Human Rights Council meets in Geneva on Feb. 25, 2013. RFA

Rights activists are increasingly worried that Beijing’s influence operations are having a negative impact on the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which concludes its 40th session on Friday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) China director Sophie Richardson warned in an article this week that China is seeking to undermine the mission of the U.N. Human Rights Council from within.

She also cited HRW research in 2017 which reported threats and harassment of U.N. staff involved in human rights evaluation by Chinese officials.

“As we head towards the final phase of [China’s U.N. human rights review], ask yourself: What other government threatens #humanrights treaty body experts?” Richardson tweeted on Thursday.

“As an [Human Rights Council] member #China is expected to uphold highest standards,” she wrote in another tweet, referencing a report in The New York Times. “Instead it tells people that merely attending an event is a ‘hostile act.'”

China
During the recent round, the Chinese government said it accepted most of the 346 human rights recommendations put forward by the council. VOA

According to HRW’s 2017 article based on a 97-page report: “Chinese officials have at times harassed and intimidated U.N. staff, experts on treaty bodies, and independent experts focusing on specific human rights issues.”

The 2014 death in detention of activist Cao Shunli, who was detained on her way to a U.N. human rights event in Geneva, also sent a “chilling” message to Chinese activists who may want to participate in the U.N. human rights process, the article said.

HRW isn’t the only human rights organization worried about Chinese influence at the U.N.

Renee Xia, who heads the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network, reported from a side-event of the Human Rights Council conference in Geneva this week that it was “standing room only.”

“Strong show of interest despite #China urging countries not to attend,” Xia tweeted.

“The strong attendance was more remarkable esp. after #China officials went to many countries’ diplomats at the U.N., Geneva, to threaten them with “serious consequences” if they attended the side events,” she wrote in another tweet.

“#Bullying at the UN must stop!” she wrote.

‘So many restrictions’

Wang Dan, a former leader of the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement on Tiananmen Square, is also in Geneva this week.

“To tell you the truth, my feelings during my two days here are that China has huge influence at the U.N.,” Wang told RFA.

“For example, at one side-event, it wasn’t just the Chinese delegation who spoke against [criticisms of Beijing’s rights record], but other countries came to speak in support of China’s position,” he said.

UN
“Many of the countries participating in the Human Rights Council are actually the ones that are carrying out the most violations of human rights, Pixabay

Wang said tight controls over public speech also make it less likely that the ruling Chinese Communist Party will have to face criticism of human rights violations coming from within its own borders.

“There are a lot of people online in China, but they are under so many restrictions,” he said. “You can’t mention the Tiananmen Massacre. You can’t mention [late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner] Liu Xiaobo. You can’t say this, you can’t say that.”

“I don’t think that’s how you define freedom … but then the Chinese point to the U.N. charter, which says that all member states must be respected,” he said.

‘Autocratic rule the default’

Veteran New York-based rights activist Liu Qing said the work of the council had become “unrecognizable” to him.

“Many of the countries participating in the Human Rights Council are actually the ones that are carrying out the most violations of human rights,” Liu told RFA.

“The only purpose of these countries in insinuating themselves into the Human Rights Council is to curb the positive role of the Human Rights Council and make autocratic rule the default setting on the international stage,” he said.

Amnesty International blogger Shao Jiang wrote in December 2018 that Beijing is reinterpreting universal human rights as merely the right to survival, freedom to access food, and regards other definitions of human rights as secondary to trade and economic development.

“The Chinese government has appointed government officials as independent experts into the UN’s Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, and the U.N. treaty bodies,” Shao said.

China has passed human rights reviews twice before this one, while more than 120 countries Beijing’s human rights record during the most recent process.

During the recent round, the Chinese government said it accepted most of the 346 human rights recommendations put forward by the council.

Also Read: Myanmar Government Calls Ethnic Armed Groups To Attend Collective Peace Discussions For The First Time

The United Nations now reports annually on government reprisals against human rights defenders participating in U.N. human rights efforts, Richardson wrote in an article in The Hill last December.

“China has topped the list of offenders in every report issued,” she said. (RFA)