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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/23/18

Will There Ever Be Justice for the Rohingyas?

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Message Arshad M Khan

Note: This article first appeared on counterpunch.org


Who are the Rohingya? - BBC News After centuries in Myanmar, it's estimated that half their population has fled to Bangladesh with horror stories of rapes, killings and house burnings. But who are ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: BBC News)
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There is an image engraved in our minds of a stoic, reserved, elegant Aung San Suu Kyi unbending in her struggle against Burma's generals for democracy, and we assumed for human rights. Last year, when the refugees streamed out of her country in the wake of atrocities, it blocked all UN agencies from delivering food, water and medicine to affected civilians; her office accused aid workers of helping terrorists.


Her iconic stature long gone, she made a public appearance the day after the International Fact-Finding Mission released its initial 20-page overview to the UN Human Rights Council on August 27, 2018. The damning evidence of murder, rape, torture, persecution, burned villages, landmines along escape routes reported on by NGOs and news media over the past year had been confirmed. Elegant and patrician as usual, Aung San Suu Kyi discoursed on poetry and literature. No mention of the genocide or the UN report. No longer an icon, there have been calls to relieve her of the Nobel Peace Prize.


The UN group criticized her for her continued refusal to condemn the genocide. The full report detailing unspeakable horrors in its 440-page account has now been released (September 18, 2018). What might surprise people is a simple shocking fact: This is not the first UN report on Rohingya massacres.


On February 3, 2017, the UN issued a detailed account of the military's operations in north Maungddaw with "the very likely commission of crimes against humanity." It recounted the murders, rapes and tortures that have now become the trademark of military operations against the Rohingya.


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein is quoted as saying " ... what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother's milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces that should be protecting her."


There were no major consequences for Myanmar then and what happened the following summer was the same magnified over Rakhine state. As a result we have 700,000 refugees, and they are still coming -- "11,342 new arrivals as of mid-June this year," Mr. Zeid has noted.


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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
 
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