Rohingya: Former UN mandate holders call Myanmar to stop genocide

KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen former United Nations (UN) Special Procedures Mandate Holders have jointly called for the Myanmar government, specifically to Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, to stop the genocide, ethnic cleansing and arson of Rohingya.

They also strongly encourage all heads of states and government to use the current UN General Assembly in New York as an opportunity to encourage their counterparts, particularly in Myanmar and Bangladesh to engage in meaningful and constructive exchanges to halt these crimes against humanity.

"We, the undersigned former mandate holders of the UN Special Procedures, although having completed our UN mandate, cannot shirk our responsibilities towards protecting the human rights of the oppressed.

"We express our concern that in the space of less than three weeks, almost 400,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh, while hundreds have been killed," they said in a joint statement issued here today.

Concerned that the Rohingya continue to be denied citizenship despite living on their ancestral land, the former UN mandate holders also joined voices with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in underscoring the need to prevent the stateless as well as to ensure the right of every person to a nationality.

The 16 former mandate holders among others were former Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Param Cumaraswamy from Malaysia, former Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter (Belgium) and former Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 John Dugard (South Africa). — Bernama