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‘Slow death’ in Myanmar camps for 130,000 Rohingya

In its new briefing, the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) provides evidence that the genocidal act known as ‘slow death’ continues to be perpetrated against the Rohingya by the military regime. This act of genocide involves deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part of the Rohingya group.

More than two years have passed since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Myanmar to ‘take all measures within its power’ to prevent irreparable harm against the Rohingya in its provisional measures order. The military regime is due to submit its new report to the ICJ on compliance with the provisional measures by Monday 23 May.

June 2022 marks a decade since the State-orchestrated violence of 2012 that expelled tens of thousands of Rohingya from their homes in central Rakhine State, Myanmar. The violence against the Rohingya was planned and instigated by government officials and state security forces. It included indiscriminate extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, mass arbitrary arrests of Rohingya and torture at detention sites, the burning of homes, destruction of mosques, and looting of shops.

Rohingya displaced by the violence in central Rakhine State were segregated and confined to camps, in violation of international law. More than 130,000 members of the Rohingya group, over half of whom are children, continue to be confined indefinitely in camps under squalid conditions. They have been subjected to the deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival – namely adequate food, water, shelter, sanitation, and medical care - by the military authorities. They have endured a decade of such ‘slow death’ treatment and for a generation of Rohingya children, it is the only life they have ever known.

“Instead of using bullets and machetes the military are using malnutrition, denial of access to healthcare, and other basic essentials of life to continue the genocide of the Rohingya,” said Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. “The military are ignoring the provisional measures order and the international community. Yet again the military are being allowed to get away with human rights violations against the Rohingya which amount to atrocity crimes. Countries which claim to support the genocide case are taking no practical action to ensure the provisional measures are followed and the genocide of the Rohingya is stopped.”

As documented by BROUK, such conditions of life have led to the preventable deaths of women and children in the past two years since the provisional measures were ordered. Rohingya continue to be subject to many other severe human rights violations including deaths, beatings, torture, arbitrary arrests, restrictions on movement, and more.

The ICJ has ignored requests from the Rohingya community to make public reports submitted to the Court by the former democratic government and now the military junta on compliance with the provisional measures.

“We are being denied the right to know what the military regime – the perpetrators of genocide against us - are telling the Court. The international community seems to be sitting back and watching the ICJ case waiting for the outcome, but the court-ordered provisional measures because the genocide is ongoing and needs action to prevent it now,” said Tun Khin. “There is no question that the military are ignoring the provisional measures. The question is whether the UN Security Council and countries like the USA, UK, and France are going to do anything about it, or sit back and do nothing like they did in the run-up to the military offensives in 2016 and 2017 which led to the mass killings of our people.”

(c) 2022 Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK


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