YANGON (AFP) – Amnesty International is calling for a “strong resolution” over Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya minority, as the country enters the spotlight of a rare UN Human Rights Council special session later yesterday.
Myanmar’s military denies accusations by the UN and US that it has committed ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine state.
An army-led crackdown has forced some 620,000 people to flee over the border into squalid camps in Bangladesh in recent months, leaving hundreds of villages burned to the ground.
Ahead of the council’s session in Geneva, Amnesty urged members to keep the pressure on and said authorities in Myanmar are committing crimes against humanity that are continuing on a ‘daily basis’.
“The Council must now step up and pass a strong resolution that sends a clear message to Myanmar’s government and military that their abhorrent treatment of the Rohingya must end immediately, and that perpetrators will not enjoy impunity,” said James Gomez, Amnesty’s regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Rights groups say people are still fleeing Myanmar, joining refugees who give consistent accounts of rape, murder and arson.
The army has justified the crackdown as a proportionate response to deadly attacks by Rohingya militants on border police on August 25.
Myanmar’s state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar yesterday claimed there had been a “gradual return to normalcy in the region”.