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21 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 September, 2018 01:34:18 AM
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World ‘won’t rest’ on Rohingya crisis

ASEAN MPs urge UN to act on report

British FM Hunt tells Suu Kyi
UNB

British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt yesterday called for justice on the Rohingya crisis after his visit to Myanmar's Rakhine state, telling embattled leader Aung San Suu Kyi the world "won't let it rest," reports AFP.

Hunt's rallying cry for accountability comes at the end of a busy two-day visit during which he visited Rakhine -- the epicentre of a brutal military campaign that drove out more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims -- and met with Suu Kyi.

"Burma needs to know the international community won't let it rest," said Hunt using Myanmar's former name.

Myanmar has set up an "independent" commission to address the army's crackdown against the Rohingya, rejecting the UN probe and calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate.

"If we don't see that process happening, we will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure there is justice... the world is watching," Hunt said after the meeting, which he said was "lively" and "frank".

The British foreign minister's visit came the same week UN investigators released a damning and meticulous report detailing why six Myanmar generals should be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, where they joined about 300,000 already in cramped refugee camps, carrying accounts of extrajudicial killings, extreme sexual violence and arson.

The evidence warrants the charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, UN investigators said.

Hunt also brought up with Suu Kyi his "concerns" on the jailing of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced earlier this month to seven years each under the state secrets act. The pair had uncovered the extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya men in the Rakhine village of Inn Din -- something the army has since acknowledged. Suu Kyi, who endured a total of 15 years of house arrest under the previous junta-led regime, said last week Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's sentencing upheld the rule of law.

"She said she would look into it," Hunt said Thursday.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from South East Asia yesterday urged the UN to act on a devastating report on atrocities against Rohingya in Myanmar and do everything it can to pave the way for justice for victims, reports UNB.

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva is expected to vote on a resolution in next week establishing an independent mechanism to document these crimes for future prosecutions, said ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). The UN-mandated Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar released its full report on September 19, calling for the Myanmar military top brass to be investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

"The report by the Fact-Finding Mission is as heart wrenching as it is necessary. It adds to the mounting body of evidence that the Myanmar security forces have committed the gravest of crimes - including possible genocide - against Rohingya people," APHR Chair Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament.

"The world must now take concrete action to ensure these atrocities are never repeated. The UN Human Rights Council can do just that by establishing an international accountability mechanism. We urge all countries - including Southeast Asian states - to lend support to a resolution to this effect."

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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