One Rohingya killed, two injured and more arrested ahead of John Kerry’s visit to Burma

Chittagong, Bangladesh: One Rohingya killed, two injured and 15 persons arrested from the Rohingya IDPs camp in Thandawlee village in Akyab (Sittwe), on August 6, ahead of John Kerry’s visit to Burma, stated in a press release of Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK).
BROUK issued the statement on August 7, after more than 100 security forces entered to the Rohingya IDPs camp in Thandawlee village in Sittwe, capital of Arakan State, where the security force killed one Rohingya and seriously injured two and 15 more Rohingyas were arrested.

At the same time, Rohingyas in Buthidaung and Maungdaw, in northern Arakan, have been arrested, threatened and harassed while the government attempts to collect population data, the statement stated.

Violence against the Rohingya has continued and the situation continues to deteriorate in Arakan State since June 2012. More than 150 Rohingyas and 20 pregnant women died in the two weeks after hundreds of aid workers were evacuated after facing attacks in March 2014 including Doctors without Borders (MSF) were expelled from Arakan. Many children have died because of malnutrition, the statement stated.

Although MSF have now been allowed back into Arakan, there are still serious restrictions on aid and movement for the thousands of Rohingya IDPs, BROUK press release stated.

“If the US government wants to see clear progress on the Rohingya issue in Burma, John Kerry should be setting timelines and benchmarks for progress, including to restore Rohingya citizenship and for the lifting of restrictions on aid, movement, marriage and education in Arakan,” said BROUK’s President Tun Khin.

“The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma has stated that the widespread and systematic human rights violations in Arakan State ‘may constitute crimes against humanity’. The US government should be supporting an international investigation into human rights abuses in Arakan State,” Tun Khin said.

BROUK urges US Secretary of State John Kerry in its statement, to put pressure on President Thein Sein of Burma, immediately to stop the violence and crimes against the Rohingya and to protect the lives of Rohingya; allowing  humanitarian NGOs with full and free access to the Rohingya in all parts of Arakan; to repeal or amend the 1982 Citizenship Law in order that it conforms with international standards; to stop the segregation of communities in Arakan and replace it with a proactive policy of “peaceful co-existence” and to support for an independent international investigation into human rights abuses in Arakan.

“Kerry should use his visit to deliver a clear and public message of deep concern about serious human rights problems, including continued persecution of the Rohingya, continued military abuses against ethnic groups, and the need for constitutional reform,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“If Kerry is going to visit, then he needs to address the fact that the plight of the Rohingya has not gotten better,” said Daniel Sullivan, the policy director for United to End Genocide, a Washington-based organized dedicated to ending mass atrocities. “It’s gotten worse.”

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