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U.S. Report Proves Urgent Need for Rohingya Justice Mechanism

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is encouraged by the release of a report by the U.S. State Department on the atrocities committed by Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslims of Rakhine state and hopes the findings will be used to unequivocally condemn Myanmar’s military leaders and to support an international mechanism for securing justice.

The report, which corroborates many of PHR’s own findings, is among the most robust and detailed investigation conducted to date, and clearly shows the staggering scale of atrocities committed against the Rohingya. The investigation adds to the insurmountable evidence that these grave acts of violence must be investigated as crimes against humanity.

The following statement is attributable to Homer Venters, MD, PHR’s director of programs:

“The atrocities outlined in the investigation include egregious acts, including locking people in their homes and burning them, fencing off entire villages and shooting trapped crowds, sinking boats filled with hundreds of fleeing Rohingya, abductions, and sexual violence including gang rapes. These crimes killed thousands and drove more than 720,000 from their homes. They are nothing short of crimes against humanity, and should have been labelled as such in the U.S. report.

“We applaud the Unites States for its investigation and for announcing that it will nearly double its humanitarian aid for displaced Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Investigations such as these are crucial, and must be used to secure justice and prevent future human rights abuses. Armed with the indisputable evidence outlined in the report, it is now important for the United States and the international community to formulate a joint response, labelling these atrocities as crimes against humanity, and unequivocally condemning Myanmar’s military leaders.

“Without further delay, there must be a concerted effort to  impose targeted sanctions and arms embargos on Myanmar, to support a justice mechanism created through a UN Resolution, and to refer the case of the Rohingya to the International Criminal Court so that those responsible for these appalling crimes can be held accountable. “

Read about PHR’s Rohingya work, including reports which detail medical forensic evaluations of Rohingya survivors.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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