Myanmar urged to allow aid to reach Rohingya

Myanmar urged to allow aid to reach Rohingya

Final check: Anifah (centre) visiting the Plenary Hall at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which will host the extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. — Bernama

Final check: Anifah (centre) visiting the Plenary Hall at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which will host the extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will push for the Myanmar government to take measures to improve the condition of vulnerable communities, including the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Malaysia, which is hosting the extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers today, will also be calling on Myanmar to allow unimpeded access for huma­nitarian aid for the Rohingya.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the meeting will issue a resolution which, among others, expresses concern over the acts of violence and human rights abuses towards the people of Rohingya.

“There will also be a communique to be issued calling on Myanmar to abide by its obligations under international law and prevent the worsening humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State,” he told a press conference.111111

The meeting has been convened at Malaysia’s request to discuss the plight of the Rohingya.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will deliver a keynote address at the one-day meeting.

The OIC secretariat in Jeddah issued a statement yesterday ma­­king similar calls to Myanmar with regard to humanitarian aid.

The OIC assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Abdul­lah Abdurrahman Alim, said tragic conditions and violent crimes endured by Muslims in Myanmar since the eruption of violence in 2012 have led to the exodus and displacement of over 2.5 million people around the world.

“Inside Myanmar, the number of displaced refugees among the Rohingya Muslims have exceeded 120,000 people and they are in dire need of emergency humanitarian relief,” he said.

Abdullah added that from Oct 9 last year to Jan 5, more than 65,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

Abdullah said OIC groups in New York, Geneva and Brussels have held a number of emergency meetings in December to discuss the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organi­sation Malaysia president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani is calling on the OIC to pressure the United Nations to send its peacekeeping force to Myanmar to check human rights violations against the Rohingya civilians.

He claimed that the presence of UN peacekeepers would also indirectly stop the Rohingya community from seeking refuge in other countries.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/19/myanmar-urged-to-allow-aid-to-reach-rohingya/#YAIdQItWq7x6ejWH.99

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Rohingya teen loses application over immigration documents

Rohingya teen loses application over immigration documents

SEPANG: The magistrate’s court here has dismissed an application by a Rohingya Muslim teenager to set aside a charge of not possessing valid immigration documents.

The 15-year-old boy, who was arrested in Putrajaya on Dec 11, has been charged under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act for failing to produce a valid UNHCR card.

Magistrate Sharifah Muhaymin Abd Khalib fixed Feb 24 for mention of the case, pending filing of a motion by the accused to the High Court.

Aziatul Afrizan Alias acted for the prosecution while the boy was represented by Collin Arvind Andrew of the Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre.

Andrew said he would be filing the application to the Shah Alam High Court on Thursday, on grounds that Rohingya asylum seekers, especially children, should not be prosecuted on account of their immigration status.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, he argued before Sharifah that Rohingya children should not be prosecuted even if they are not registered with UNHCR as they are asylum seekers by default.

He cited Article 22 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the fourth preamble of the Child Act 2001, which guarantees protection for all children without distinction or exception.

“This includes asylum seeking children, particularly the Rohingyas.

“They have suffered so much hardship coming into this country and must be distinguished from all other unlawful migrants,” he said.

He told The Star Online later that should the High Court allow his client’s application, it would set an important precedent that all Rohingya children cannot be prosecuted based on their immigration status.

Andrew said that the High Court affidavit would be affirmed by the older brother of his client, who is a registered UNHCR card holder.

He added that the Foreign Ministry had been made aware of his client’s plight, taking into consideration the Government’s recent pledge to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya refugees, who are fleeing persecution in their homeland of Rakhine in Myanmar.

Source by:http://www.thestar.com.my

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Bangladesh Official Voices Regret Over Report on Rapes of Rohingya Women

Bangladesh Official Voices Regret Over Report on Rapes of Rohingya Women

Jesmin Papri
Dhaka
2017-01-24
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A Rohingya refugee holds her child in a refugee camp in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, Nov. 26, 2016.

AFP

A Bangladeshi minister who oversees humanitarian relief efforts expressed sadness upon learning of allegations that one in three Rohingya women interviewed at refugee camps had reported being raped by Myanmar security forces before fleeing to Bangladesh.

Minister of Disaster Management Mofazzel Hossain Chowdhury Maya said that he and other officials had no direct knowledge of such abuses, but assured that he would look into these claims.

“If it has happened, then it is really pathetic and inhuman. But we are not aware about this condition/experience of Rohingya women,” the minister told BenarNews on Tuesday.

In an article published last week by BenarNews, 17 of 54 recently arrived Rohingya women who were interviewed by a correspondent at refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh, reported that Myanmar security personnel had raped them during a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Widespread allegations have emerged since the crackdown began in early October that Myanmar government forces have sexually assaulted Rohingya woman and carried out targeted killings and other atrocities against members of the country’s stateless Muslim minority. The BenarNews report marked the first time that specific numbers of rapes were cited based on random surveys of refugees. The government in Naypyidaw has refuted these allegations.

“We will try to [find out] about this and will discuss this among ourselves to determine what is doable on this issue from our end,” the minister said, adding that Bangladesh was “trying to draw the attention of the international community regarding the disaster created by Myanmar.”

Myanmar ‘solely responsible’

An official who chairs Bangladesh’s Human Rights Commission blamed Myanmar for allowing atrocities in Rakhine, but he did not say whether his agency would investigate claims that Rohingya women had been raped.

“Whatever happened with Rohingya, Myanmar is solely responsible for all those incidents. Rohingya who entered into Bangladesh, if they were in Myanmar, then they would have died,” Kazi Reazul Haq, chairman of the autonomous government-appointed commission, told BenarNews.

He said the government should treat the refugees on “humanitarian grounds within our capacity,” adding, “the government is already trying to do so accordingly.”

At least 65,000 Rohingya have crossed the border into the Cox’s Bazar district of southeastern Bangladesh since the Myanmar military launched a crackdown in Rakhine following the killings of nine policemen by suspected militants, according to U.N. figures. The new Rohingya arrivals add to a refugee population in Cox’s Bazar that totals at least 300,000, according to Bangladeshi government estimates.

“The international community should come forward to solve this issue,” Haq added, saying it should put pressure on Myanmar to acknowledge the rights of Rohingya to citizenship in their home country.

OIC meeting

Delegates from 57 member-nations of the Muslim world’s largest inter-governmental body, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last week held a special meeting in Kuala Lumpur, where they called on predominantly Buddhist Myanmar to end the violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine and hold perpetrators of alleged human rights abuses accountable.

Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s state minister for Foreign Affairs, headed his country’s delegation at the extraordinary meeting of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers.

He told BenarNews that Bangladesh reported to the OIC “that we are trying to increase bilateral relationship with Myanmar, and we have also offered them our eagerness to support Myanmar in solving Rohingya crisis. But we did not get any positive response from them.”

He also told that “based on recommendations from all member countries, a resolution has also been agreed in the OIC meeting, which will be conveyed to Myanmar authority.”

The OIC meeting followed a series of bilateral talks in Dhaka between Bangladesh and Myanmar officials earlier this month, in which both sides agreed to hold further discussions about the fate of the 65,000 newly arrived Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh has asked that Myanmar take them back.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Dhaka office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an international humanitarian body that runs camps for unregistered Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, did not respond to questions sent by BenarNews via email on Monday.

Source by: http://www.benarnews.org

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

That’s Me, A Rohingya.

That’s Me, A Rohingya.

A Rohingya girl selling food at the internally displaced persons camp for Rohingya people outside Sittwe in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar. — (Photo: Reuters)

Ro Mayyu Ali

RB Poem
January 26, 2017

That’s Me, A Rohingya.

When I was born,
I’m not a baby like you.
Without a birth certificate
I’m like just a dead.

When I’m one-year-old,
I’m not a child like you.
Without a nationality
I’m like just a pet.

When I’m in school,
I’m not a student like you.
Without a Burmese face
I’m like just a future-barren.

When I’m in another village,
I’m not a resident like you.
Having approval for overnight,
I’m like just a loony-bin-detainee.

When I pass over my town,
I’m not an inhabitant like you.
Holding Form-4 authorization,
I’m like just a nomad.

When I’m in university,
I’m not a fresher like you.
Being denied a professional major,
I’m like just an invalid.

When I try to approach with my peoples,
I’m not accepted like you.
Being suffered from apartheid and chauvinism
I’m like just a quarantined.

When I wish to get married,
I’m not a fiance like you.
Having approval for marriage,
I’m like just an alien.

When I intend to repair my earthen hut.
I’m not allowed to do like you.
Facing tangible denials,
I’m like just an invader.

When I arrange a small trade,
I’m not a vendor like you.
Being ongoing restricted and confiscated,
I’m like just a pauper.

When I apply for a civil service,
I’m not a candidate like you.
Receiving a motivated rejection,
I’m like just a segregatee.

When I’m hospitalized in a state-run clinic,
I’m not a favoured-patient like you.
Being marginalized and discriminated,
I’m like just an oustee.

When I bestow to follow belief in,
I’m not a faith like you.
Being restricted for worship and demolished mosques,
I’m like just a non-man-kind.

While I’m of an orchestrated riot,
I’m not a survivor like you.
Without an insurance for safety,
I’m like just a ripe-victim.

When a New Year turns in,
I’m not a civillian like you.
Being under the colorful decades-long operations,
I’m like just an inventory-item.

Even I live in my country where I was born,
I can’t name it my own like you.
Without an identity,
I’m like just an immigrant.

Even I breath the air of this sky,
I’m not a human being like you.
Without a reliable undertaker,
I’m like just a loner.

Even I see the sunrise,
I’m not a living-kind like you.
Without a fertile hope for tomorrow,
My life is like just a sandy-castle.

Despite apex of inhumanities
And dire of immoralities
I’m quite surrounded in
My skin remains trembling
Just to feel once the essence of full freedom
My heart remains hoping
Just to walk once like a man in my world

Indeed, no one nowadays is like me.
The only one as alike as
That’s surely myself
Perhaps, I’m none other.
Just a Rohingya!

 

See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2017/01/thats-me-rohingya.html#sthash.KUiIGX3k.dpuf

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Policeman Robs and Beats Rohingya Woman in Southern Maungdaw

Policeman Robs and Beats Rohingya Woman in Southern Maungdaw

By Anwar M.S.January 24, 2017

Policeman Robs and Beats Rohingya Woman in Southern Maungdaw

 

Maungdaw — A Myanmar Border Guard Policeman (BGP) robbed and beat a poor Rohingya woman in southern Maungdaw on January 15, a local source has reported.

The policeman robbed Kyat 60,000 and a nose ring worth Kyat 50,000 from the victim woman identified as Shashidah (25), daughter of U Ali Hussein, from the village of ‘Kyaung’Taung (Gora Hali)’ in southern Maungdaw.

It has been learnt that it was about 3:00 PM when got body-searched and robbed by the policeman on her way back home from her parents’ home in the village of ‘Udaung.’

“Ms. Shamshidah and her family is facing financial hardships. So, she went her parents to borrow some money. On her way back home, she encountered with a policeman from the BGP post between Gora Hali and Udaung passing by her on a motorcycle. He stopped her and searched her body.
So, he found Kyat 60,000 in her, which she borrowed from her parents and one nose ring. He robbed them all. When the woman demanded them back, he beat him mercilessly”, said a local Rohingya in the region.

When the village in-charge of ‘Kyaung Taung’ asked the policeman to return the woman her belongings, the policeman posed death threats even to him (the village-charge).

Later, the village in-charge lodged a complaint to the commander of the military infantry unit (nearby the mountain) in the village, some military personnel arrived at the (Kyaung Taung) BGP post and made the policeman return the money to the poor lady. However, the policeman didn’t return her her nose ring refusing that he hadn’t robbed it.

The same policeman beat a Rohingya man identified as Abdullah (son of) Abu Siddique from ‘Kanpoo’ village on the same day.

Although they are the Rohingya people in northern Maungdaw that have been under siege and continual assaults of the Myanmar armed forces for months, the people in southern Maungdaw too are frequently subjected to arbitrary arrests, tortures and loots.

Source by: http://www.rvisiontv.com

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Rohingya Children Give Eyewitness Accounts of Atrocities

Rohingya Children Give Eyewitness Accounts of Atrocities

Jesmin Papri
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
2017-01-23
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Rohingya children are pictured at the Kutupalong camp for unregistered refugees in southeastern Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, Jan. 18, 2017.

Jesmin Papri/BenarNews

Updated at 5 p.m. ET on 2017-01-23

Rohingya boys and girls as young as 11 and 12 spoke of atrocities they had witnessed that forced them to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state in recent weeks, with some telling BenarNews they saw Burmese security personnel burn their siblings alive.

A BenarNews correspondent interviewed at least 19 children during visits to refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, a district in southeastern Bangladesh where some 65,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Rakhine state since early October, according to U.N. estimates.

“The military whisked away my brother and killed him, set fire to our house, and tortured the women,” said Tasmin Khatun, 11, using a term that refers to the rape of women.

“We hid in the nearby jungle. I still shudder in fear when I think about it. I cannot sleep at night,” the Rohingya girl told BenarNews at the Kutupalong camp for unregistered refugees in Ukhiya sub-district.

Myanmar security forces have been accused of committing atrocities against the Rohingya population, such as targeted killings, rapes and the burning of homes, while mounting a crackdown after the killings of nine Burmese border guards by suspected militants in October.

Myanmar’s government has defended itself from widespread international criticism, denying that its forces committed such abuses against members of the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority.

Last week, BenarNews reported that 17 of 54 Rohingya women interviewed at refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar said members of the Myanmar security forces had raped them.

Thrown into flames

Rohingya youngster Abdul Malek, at the Leda refugee camp in Teknaf sub-district, said he witnessed Myanmar security personnel throw his brother into the family’s burning home.

“Military threw my twin into the fire. … They have been killing everybody by setting fires,” Abdul told BenarNews.

He and the rest of his family members were able to escape by jumping into a river as security forces shot at them, Abdul alleged.

Zohur Ali, 12, a refugee at the Kutupalong camp, recounted a similar incident, saying that security personnel snatched his two small siblings from his mother’s lap and threw them into the flames of their home that had been set alight.

Zohur’s mother Rahima Khatun, 35, told BenarNews: “Zohur cries even while sleeping. I do not know when he will recover from this.”

Nazim Uddin, 12, whose mother died during childbirth several months ago, said he saw his father beaten and arrested by Myanmar security personnel “some days ago,” before he, four siblings and an uncle fled across the border.

Two of his siblings, 2-year-old Md Yeasin and 4-year-old Umme Salma, whom he cradled, remain traumatized, Nazim told BenarNews.

Count under way

An official with the Dhaka office of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said it is working to verify the estimate that 65,000 Rohingya have arrived in southeastern Bangladesh since October.

This number does not include at least 300,000 Rohingya refugees who live in camps in Cox’s Bazar but who fled violence in Rakhine state years ago.

“To determine the number of the newly arrived Rohingya, we have been conducting a survey. So far, we have registered 12,000 new arrivals including 5,000 children,” the UNHCR official told BenarNews on condition of anonymity.

Ali Hossain, the deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district, told BenarNews the government had yet to count the number of Rohingya “who entered Bangladesh afresh.” The government, however, has been immunizing children age 5 and younger at the camps and giving them doses of Vitamin A, he said.

Md Alam, a leader of Block B at the Leda camps, said officials were finding it difficult to feed all the children in the camp.

“Where is the time to look after the mental trouble?” he told BenarNews.

“These children are mentally devastated as they came across a horrible reality; counseling is a must for their mental recovery. But where is the opportunity? Many of them are not getting food for survival,” C.R. Abrar, an expert on refugee issues and professor at the University of Dhaka, told BenarNews.

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A Rohingya baby is vaccinated at the Kutupalong camp, Jan. 18, 2017. [Jesmin Papri/BenarNews]

An earlier version incorrectly quoted Abdul Malek as saying that his twin brothers were thrown into a fire.

Source by:  http://www.benarnews.org
By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

The Aid Groups and the Most Persecuted Rohingya

The Aid Groups and the Most Persecuted Rohingya

Nine-year-old Tin Aung Zin, who is in a coma, is held by his sister in their house near the Thet Kae Pyin camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Rakhine state, April 23, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Minzayar)
Ro Mayyu Ali
RB Opinion
January 24, 2017
The facts and information mentioned in this piece of writing represent neither any national or international organization in Northern Rakhine State, nor the views of any official person in local or state authorities. Moreover, the author does not wish to cause any trouble between the authorities and aid groups, their employees and employers.
Myanmar is one of the least-developed countries in South East Asia. Rakhine State, situated in the north-west of Myanmar, on the border with Bangladesh, is the second poorest state among the seven states in the country. An estimated 1.3 million people in Rakhine State are Rohingya, regarded as the world’s most persecuted ethnic group.
During 1990, some groups of international non-governmental organizations, such as Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF-Holland), Action Contre la Faim (ACF-French), Malteser International and CARE, as well as some United Nations agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Program (WFP), International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) and UNICEF have been providing humanitarian aid in two of the Northern Rakhine State’s three townships, specifically in Maungdaw and Buthidaung.
Maungdaw, the border trading town, is the home of more than half a million people. There are 105 village tracts and 50,233 households in the township. In Buthidaung, there are more than 300,000 people, 86 village tracts and 42,871 households.
Since the Rohingya people are persecuted by the Union and State governments, the hundreds of educated Rohingya who work for international organizations are the main targets of their oppression. For decades, this specific group of Rohingya people have been facing the worst of the human rights and civil rights violations in Myanmar.
Northern Rakhine State’s maternal mortality rate is double that of Myanmar’s national average, which, at 200 deaths per 100,000 live births, is already one of Asia’s worst. In Buthidaung and Maungdaw, malnutrition rates rival those of war-torn regions in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Rohingya are therefore counted as the most vulnerable community in Northern Rakhine State. Thousands of Rohingya people in the townships have been surviving only because of the aid and medical assistance provided by international organizations. For the educated Rohingya, a job with those international organizations is the only opportunity they have as a professional, since their recruitment by civil services in Myanmar has been denied since 1970.
RESTRICTED ACCESS AND ATTACKS AGAINST AID WORKERS
There are many types of criticisms and propaganda amongst the Buddhist community in Northern Rakhine State directed towards these organisations. They think that the recruitment policy of INGOs and international agencies is unfair. However, it is coherent that these organisations recruit more Rohingya candidates than Buddhists because most of the vulnerable people that require assistance are to be found in the Rohingya community. In order to be effective and to make progress with their activities, language is important, as well as an understanding of beliefs, and a sensitivity to approach, which are some of the concerns of modern organizations. INGOs and agencies in Northern Rakhine State do, nonetheless, respect the gender balance as well as ethnic balance during their recruitment. Compare this approach to the local authorities in Northern Rakhine State, who always disrespect Rohingya translators assisting in INGOs’ meetings.
Following the violence in Northern Rakhine State in June 2012, dozens of Rohingya aid workers, including Mr. Soe Myint and Ms. Nandar who worked for UNHCR Maungdaw Office, were detained for months and then released following intervention from the United Nations advocacy. Omar Farukh (a nutrition animator), Akbaal (a guard from ACF Maungdaw), Rafique (a counsellor) and Zafor (a driver) from MSF Maungdaw Offices, were incarcerated for years on accusations of involvement in arson in Maungdaw downtown. However, the staff were on duty on that day when the fires were started. At that time, blockage of humanitarian aid was used against the Rohingya and the activities of aid groups in Northern Rakhine State were suspended for more than 4 months.
In October 2013, the violence again resumed in Du Chee Yar Tan Village tract, situated in Southern Maungdaw. It was a ruthlessly barbaric operation that included arson, shootings, arbitrary arrest, and the siege of the villagers to prevent them fleeing to save their lives. As a result, dozens of Rohingya, including children, were killed and many more were injured. At that time, since the village tract was covered by MSF, many patients received treatment from them.
When Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Holland) said that it had treated people it believed were victims of the violence near Maungdaw, the government expelled the group for favouring the Rohingyas. Myanmar authorities denied the attack took place. As a result, MSF work in Northern Rakhine State was suspended in February 2014. MSF’s departure has had “a major humanitarian impact”, said Pierre Peron, spokesman for the United Nations’ coordination agency UNOCHA. “MSF had built up a program over 20 years and it was reaching places that were very difficult to reach, and that’s not something that can be done overnight,” he added.
However, the 1999’s Noble Peace Prize winning MSF was granted permission to resume their activities again in Northern Rakhine State after 8 months. Without doubt, MSF is the main medical haven for the Rohingya community in Northern Rakhine State. It is not because the Buddhist staff in government hospitals do not treat the Rohingya patients well, but because there are several restrictions in order to get medical accesses for the Rohingya. But in the last quarter of 2013, MSF treated approximately 9,000 patients every month, and about 1,000 pregnant women in the six clinics ran across Norther Rakhine. Over the same period, it also referred 160-200 people monthly to hospitals for life-saving treatment.
A recent study of poverty and health in Rakhine state by Mahmood Saad Mahmood for Harvard University shows vast disparities between the Rohingya and the Rakhine: There is only one physician per 140,000 Rohingya, but in the parts of Rakhine state dominated by the Rakhine, there is one doctor per 681 people. It is clear why most of the vulnerable Rohingya community prefer MSF treatment to that of state-run hospitals and clinics in Northern Rakhine. For the Myanmar government, MSF is seen as the great opposing medical organization that treats the Rohingya and saves Rohingya lives in one of Myanmar’s poorest and most remote regions. However, lifesaving is MSF’s medical ethic for eligible people, regardless of their race, religion, color, gender or class.
Some governmental orchestrated protests against MSF and other INGOs and agencies have been conducted throughout Rakhine State after the violence in June 2012. ‘Get out, MSF!’ and ‘Get out, INGOs!’ are the kinds of aggressive banners that were used during the protests. Some logos of international organizations were destroyed in Norther Rakhine State. The MSF and Malteser offices in Sittwe were attacked and demolished. Attempts to attack MSF foreigners and national staff in Sittwe airport were exposed. Rohingya staff were banned to attend any capacity building trainings in Yangon after June 2012. It seems that now it is the time of Myanmar authorities to annihilate both the targeted Rohingya people and those aid groups that try to save their lives in Rakhine State.
In this regard, aid groups have been facing several types of severe restrictions and tangible denials from local authorities in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships. Strategically, some Rohingya staff in UN agencies, who held the temporary the White Card, had to receive a National Verification Card (NVC) in order to attend capacity building trainings in Yangon in early of 2016. This has been perceived as an opportunity to trap the Rohingya aid workers.
Following the attack on 9th of October, again the flow of humanitarian aid was blocked and the activities in both Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships were suspended for a couple of months.
On 14th of October, 2016, an educated Rohingya family in Aung Sit Pyin was targeted and detained in police custody. In the family, there are two aid workers who were arrested: Abul Foyas, who is a staff of MHDO, a local INGO that is the coordination partner of WFP (he also worked for WFP Maungdaw Office for years). Also, 56 year old Kareem Ullah, a former senior staff member, who has worked for WFP, FOA and UNHCR for years in the Maungdaw Office. On 16th of October, Kareem was tortured to death in Maungdaw police custody and his body was buried down in Kanyin Tan Myoma cemetery without even informing his family. (For more details, you can read http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2016/10/a-senior-humanitarian-rohingya-was.html) However, Abul Foyas and his two relatives are still being held in custody, accused of involvement in attacks on Border Guard Police outposts.
On the 18th December 2016, before the meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Myanmar, the Ministry of Security and Border Affairs approved the resumption of humanitarian activities in 117 village tracts in Maungdaw district. However, the flow of humanitarian aid to northern Maungdaw lasted for just 10 days. On 28th of December, the Ministry of Security and Border Affairs continued the area clearance operation in 45 village tracts, mostly in northern Maungdaw, again suspending the access of INGOs to those in the troubled part of the township. “We’re going to proceed the operations in 45 village tracts in northern Maungdaw. It is not good for security if they go to work in there,” said U Ye Htut, Maungdaw District Administrator.
In addition, now the Rohingya aid workers must hold a Form 4 to pass from one village to another when they go to work. (Form 4 is an authorization letter that the Rohingya must hold to pass from one township to another). Firstly, they must apply to the Township Authorization and submit their activity plan to the District Administration Office. However, none of the team is allowed to stay overnight at the field level in Maungdaw, so have to return the same day. Sometimes this process is also delayed or denied.
The Rohingya are already vulnerable, depending on humanitarian assistance. But when there is a conflict, firstly the Myanmar government stops the flow of humanitarian accesses to those most vulnerable of people. Blockage of humanitarian assistance to the conflict area is one of the main political weapons used by the Myanmar government. It is shocking that sometimes there is no direct access or distribution of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable of the Rohingya people in Northern Rakhine State.
Humanitarian assistance is essential and it is necessary to reach victims directly and on time. The free and direct assess of the aid to victims is the core value of all INGOs and UN organizations. They also respect the dignity and value of the people they help. However, international organizations in Myanmar seem somehow up for negotiation and bidding. They must be careful that they do not fall into the government’s traps. “Myanmar is perhaps one of the toughest nuts to crack in international diplomacy” says Azeem Ibrahim, a fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford.
Despite thousands of acutely malnourished children that are taken care of by UNICEF and ACF, as well as the hundreds of TB, HIV/AIDS and other chronic suffering patients taken care of by MSF and Malteser International in Northern Rakhine State, the Myanmar government has been denying access to humanitarian aid. “There is no malnutrition, at all. As 90% of harvesting is already finished, so it has no cause to lead the children to be malnourished in this area,” said Dr. U Myat Aye who visited with the Rakhine Commission in Maungdaw recently. As a children specialist, Dr. U Myat Aye should respect the medical ethics of the four mandates of Myanmar National Health Causes.
Abul Foyas, a staff of MHDO, is still in detention in Maungdaw custody. It is illogical to accuse him of attacking the BGP outposts. He is clearly innocent as he was on duty that week. He should be released if it is not the case that Myanmar government targets the educated Rohingya who work for INGOs. International organizations must also work to protect their employees.
The Myanmar government is the perpetrator of ethnic cleansing operations against the Rohingya. They never truly seek a sustainable resolution for the Rohingya minority. Why would they want to coordinate with any official advocate or international organisation to address the problem? It is no wonder that some of the culprits have premeditated their actions and know exactly what they are doing.

 

Source by: http://www.rohingyablogger.com

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Banned from boats in Myanmar, Rohingya fish on rafts of junk

Banned from boats in Myanmar, Rohingya fish on rafts of junk

January 24 at 3:05 AM
 

THA PYAY TAW, Myanmar — Every day before sunrise, dozens of fishermen, shivering against the cold, shove out onto the Bay of Bengal on makeshift rafts made out of plastic jugs, bamboo and twine, just steps away from the sturdy and much safer wooden boats they had used for years.

They were barred from using their boats three months ago by Myanmar authorities who say they’re trying to prevent insurgents from entering or leaving the country by sea. The ban is one small part of a sweeping and violent counter-insurgency campaign in Rakhine state, home to the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, where authorities have been accused of widespread abuses.

Desperate to feed their families, Rohingya fishermen in the coastal villages that dot Rakhine’s Maungdaw district skirt the ban by setting out on dangerous, jerry-rigged rafts that use yellow cooking oil jugs to keep them afloat. The vessels are not technically boats, and therefore not technically illegal.

“What is the difference for us?” asks 35-year-old Mohammed, a Rohingya fisherman and the father of four children in Tha Pyay Taw village. “We will die in the village from starvation if we don’t go out, or we can risk our lives to get some fish and fill our stomachs. We have nothing to eat.”

The Associated Press is identifying Mohammed only by his first name out of security concerns.

As long as the villagers leave their big boats on the shore, the police allow them to bob along the choppy waves — for a price.

As noon approached on a recent day, dozens of villagers paddled their plastic rafts back to shore, fresh fish in tow. As they unloaded the day’s catch, a policeman holding a sack approached and demanded some fish.

The fishermen described the transaction as typical.

“We have to give it to them or they won’t allow us to go again to the sea,” said Kalumya, a 40-year-old fisherman who uses only one name.

The police officer refused to speak to The Associated Press.

Muslims in an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, the Rohingya have long faced persecution in Myanmar, where most are denied citizenship. The latest outbreak of violence was triggered by October attacks on guard posts near the Bangladesh border that killed nine police officers. While the attackers’ identities and motives are unclear, the government launched a massive counter-insurgency sweep through Rohingya areas in western Rakhine state.

Most of Myanmar’s more than 1 million Rohingya live in Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh.

Tha Pyay Taw was not directly affected by the violence, which occurred in villages a two- to three-hour drive away. But “for reasons of regional security, the fishing boats were banned from going out on the sea,” said Hashim Ulah, the government-appointed village administrator in Maungdaw.

Mohammed said the villagers have no good options.

“There is the risk of getting shot by the navy in Myanmar or Bangladesh if we go out in our boats,” he said. “Or we may get caught in a storm on our rafts. There is no choice for us.” The fishermen have managed to keep safe so far, though they take their makeshift vessels far enough out to sea that from shore, they look like mere dots on the horizon.

The United Nations estimates that 65,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar across the border to Bangladesh in the past three months to escape the government’s “clearance operation.” Rohingya villagers and activists say hundreds of civilians have been killed. The number cannot be verified because authorities have limited aid workers’ and journalists’ access to areas where the deaths occurred. Recent satellite images released by the group Human Rights Watch showed thousands of houses were burned.

“Even in the future, only trouble awaits the Rohingya,” said Mohammed. “I don’t see any improvement in our lives anymore.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source by: https://www.washingtonpost.com111111

By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

UN human rights expert concerned about reprisals during recent visit to Myanmar

UN human rights expert concerned about reprisals during recent visit to Myanmar

GENEVA (24 January 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, today warned about possible reprisals against people she met during her recent official visit to the country (9 to 21 January). “There is one word that has hung heavily on my mind during this visit – reprisals,” the expert said.

“I am deeply concerned about those with whom I met and spoke, those critical of the Government, those defending and advocating for the rights of others, and those who expressed their thoughts and opinions which did not conform to the narrative of those in the position of power,” she said, while noting the increasing use of section 66 (d) of the Telecommunications Law against many, “merely for speaking their minds.”

“It is particularly alarming to learn that the security forces’ counter operations in the villages of Maungdaw north in Rakhine State has reportedly been resumed following a brief lull, with raids conducted in several villages including nearby the villages I visited,” Ms. Lee stressed. There are further allegations of arbitrary arrests and detention in relation to these latest reported raids.

The expert was especially dismayed to note during this visit the feelings of optimism and hope appearing to slowly fade among the ordinary people of Myanmar just after one year when the whole country was elated with the outcome of the last general elections.

The Special Rapporteur expressed regret at only being allowed to go to Myitkyina, and not Laiza and Hpakant in Kachin State due to security reasons and met interlocutors who travelled to Myitkyina instead.

“It is evident that the situation in Kachin and at the northern borders is deteriorating, she stated. “Those in Kachin State tell me that the situation is now worse than at any point in the past few years. Whilst I was not able to travel to the areas most severely affected, the situation is now such that even in Myitkyina, the capital of the state and home to over 300,000 people, residents are afraid – and now stay home after dark.”
In Mon State, Ms. Lee visited for the first time a hard labour camp where she saw the living conditions of the prisoners. Her major concerns were the use of shackles as a form of additional punishment (including while working in the quarry) as well as the lack of transparency regarding the prisoners’ transfer to the hard labour camp. The lack of an individual complaint system in prisons, including the hard labour camps, was very concerning to the Special Rapporteur. “I was struck by the fear of those prisoners who were afraid of what would happen to them after speaking to me.”

In Rakhine State, the Special Rapporteur visited the Border Guard posts that were attacked on 9 October by armed individuals. She conveyed her deepest condolences to the families of those killed brutally during the attacks.

“I must remind again that these attacks took place within the context of decades of systematic and institutionalised discrimination against the Rohingya population,” she noted. The expert also went to several affected Muslim villages.

“I saw with my own eyes the structures that were burnt down in Wa Peik,” she said, and was told by Government officials that it was the villagers who had burnt down their own houses. “As the authorities offered no evidence for this, I found this argument quite incredible.”

The expert also noted the video clip that went viral of the Myanmar Police personnel beating men – and children – who were rounded up during the security operations, and highlighted the possibility that such treatment of the local population may not be an isolated incident but rather a more common practice.

She emphasised the importance for the security forces to always act within the parameters of the rule of law and in compliance with human rights and that it would be crucial for the Government to combat the apparent climate of impunity. “There must be accountability and justice must be done and seen to be done to reassure the ordinary people that no one is above the law,” Ms. Lee reminded.

“From my meetings and conversations with the State Counsellor and the various officials, I can see their genuine commitment and dedication in improving the lives of all in Myanmar. Somehow this commitment has yet to translate into real actions that are felt on the ground,” she said. In particular she found the Government’s response of defending, dismissing and denying human rights issues to be not only counterproductive but is draining away the hope that had been sweeping the country.

During the 12-day visit, the expert addressed a broad range of human rights issues with the authorities and various stakeholders, including political and community leaders, civil society representatives, as well as victims of human rights violations and members of the international community.

The Special Rapporteur will present her report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, which will include her observations and recommendations to the Government of Myanmar.

Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Myanmar. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Ms. Lee is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Ms. Lee served as member and chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2003-2011). She is currently a professor at Sungkyunwan University, Seoul, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. Ms. Lee is the founding President of International Child Rights Center.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page: Myanmar.

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Ms. Azwa Petra (+41 22 928 9103 / +41 79 444 3781 / apetra@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized

Government Seeks to Resettle Wa Paik Villagers in Inhospitable Areas

Government Seeks to Resettle Wa Paik Villagers in Inhospitable Areas

RB News
January 24, 2017
Maungdaw, Arakan – Displaced Rohingya villagers from Wa Paik Hamlet of Kyee Kan Pyin village tract are refusing to settle into new locations where the Government proposed to move them into new model villages.
Today, January 24th 2017, at 9:30 AM villagers from Middle Hamlet and Wa Paik Hamlet were in a meeting with the Maungdaw Township adminisration at the associate high school in Kyee Kan Pyin village tract.
In the meeting the township administrators said that the authorities are planning on building a new model village for the villagers displaced from Wa Paik. A villager from Wa Paik warmly welcomed the offer from the administration.
At the same time another villager from the Middle Hamlet informed the Township Administrator that they were forced to leave their homes by the military and that they were pushed out of their village. The villager said they were now taking refuge in in other villages since they were not allowed to return home. He said all their belongings were lost or looted, including even the wood and pillars used to construct their homes. The administrator responded by saying he would arrange the return of the villagers as soon as he could.
The villagers from Wa Paik said they felt the administrator intentionally avoided mentioning that the model village would be constructed in a new area, so many in the meeting were very happy with the offer by the Township Administration. The Ministry of Information later posted about the meeting on their Facebook page where they explained that the planned area for the model village would not be in Wa Paik Hamlet but in another location instead. The villagers from Wa Paik lost their homes in arson attacks they attribute to Myanmar Security Forces in reprisal for attacks against the Border Guard Police on October 9th, 2016.
Details have emerged that the Government is planning on building the model village on the roadside of Kyee Kan Pyin-Zan Paing Nyar, located inside Kyee Kan Pyin village tract, and on the roadside of Kyee Kan Pyin-Kyein Chaung, located in Nwar Yone Taung village tract. These locations are known for salty soil and poor access to drinking water. Realizing this, villagers informed RB News they would not agree to resettle in these locations because of of how difficult it will be for them to live and farm there. They said they will request the government to resettle them back on their own land in Wa Paik village.
Additional reporting by Rohingya Eye.
 
Kyee Kan Pyin Middle hamlet villagers forced to leave homes on October 23, 2016.
By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM) Posted in Uncategorized