The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (Brouk) has appealed to world leaders at the 67th UN General Assembly meeting in New York to put pressure on President Thein Sein following his proposal to remove all Rohingya people from Burma and place them in refugee camps or third countries.
It called on world bodies to ensure the Burmese government provides human rights and security to Rohingyas living in Burma.
After President Thein Sein's proposal, Brouk said it has received reports that there have been mass arrests of Rohingya people who are now kept in detention camps without trial, adequate food or medical services.
More than 100,000 people were internally displaced in Rakhine State, and for a significant period the vast majority was not receiving assistance because they were ethnic Rohingya, Brouk said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“Unacceptable restrictions still remain, and the government is also failing to provide sufficient security for aid workers assisting Rohingya who have been threatened,” it said. “Local authorities are refusing to allow many Rohingya people back to some villages, shops and homes in a policy that appears designed to ‘cleanse’ these areas of Rohingya people.
“There are some reports of mass graves in Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships, Arakan State,” it said. “It is clear that what has taken place is very serious indeed. The United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, and many individual governments, have all called for an independent investigation into what has and continues to take place.”
It said the Burmese government has allowed some diplomats to visit the area, but these visits faced severe restrictions, and there have been reports that Rohingya community leaders have been detained before hand to prevent them from meeting diplomats.
“The government of Burma has established its own investigation, but there are no Rohingya members of the investigation, and some members have masterminded recent violence in Arakan and stated that they think all Rohingya should be expelled from Burma,” said the statement.
“Following restrictions placed upon the OIC and other investigators, and the failure of the government of Burma to establish a credible independent investigation, it has become clear that for an independent investigation to take place, it will have to be under the support of the United Nations, and with a strong mandate from the United Nations General Assembly,” said Brouk, which said it is “too early” to remove sanctions against Burma.
“There are serious human rights violations going on in ethnic areas which are worse than under the previous dictator Than Shwe,” it said. “The world leaders must not ignore ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic groups such as Kachin and Chin Christians. It is too early to remove sanctions as Thein Sein's government is practicing ethnic cleansing on ethnic areas.”
Brouk President Tun Khin said, “We appeal to world leaders to put pressure on President Thein Sein to provide safety and security and to restore Rohingya ethnic rights and citizenship rights.
“We also appeal to world leaders to ensure strong wording in the UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma, including reform of the 1982 Citizenship Law and the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry into what has taken place in Arakan State.”