Human Rights: Myanmar Urged to Protect Rohingya Population

Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A United Nations (UN) expert has called for urgent action by the Government of Myanmar to end the suffering of the Rohingya population in the country.

“The magnitude of violence that these families have witnessed and experienced is far more extensive than I had originally speculated,” said Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

Yanghee Lee has concluding a four-day visit to parts of Bangladesh where she met with members of Myanmar’s Rohingya community who fled the violence there following attacks on a border post in early October and the ensuing military operations.

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She recounted several allegations of horrific attacks including the slitting of some people’s throats, indiscriminate shootings, houses being set alight with people tied up inside and very young children being thrown into the fire, as well as gang rapes and other sexual violence.

Earlier this month, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had issued a flash report, based on its interviews with the people who fled Myanmar.

The report has documented cases of mass gang-rape, killings, including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by the country’s security forces.

In addition to the alleged human rights violations occurring within the context of the security operations that followed the 9 October attacks, Ms. Lee also highlighted Monday how the Government of Myanmar appears to have taken, and continues to take, actions which discriminate against the Rohingya and make their lives even more difficult.

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