Monsoon season is currently wreaking havoc on the more than 911,000 Rohingya refugees displaced from their homeland in Burma to the ramshackle camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Two years ago, in August 2017, a brutal military crackdown pushed more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities from Burma’s Rakhine State to flee for safety. The Burmese military has shamefully denied and tried to hide its barbarism, which includes arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, displacement, rape, torture and arbitrary killings. And, Burma’s government has repudiated the international community’s attempts to document the crimes committed under international law, all while denying Rohingya basic rights like freedom of movement, access to health care and basic necessities, and citizenship.
WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to a report released yesterday by United Nations-commissioned investigators concluding that the sexual violence committed by Burmese troops against Rohingya Muslims and others --abuse that is still ongoing in some parts of Burma— is an indication of the military’s genocidal intent, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Vice Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Anurima Bhargava issued the following statements:
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, the State Department designated four Burmese military leaders as responsible for gross human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims, including extrajudicial killings within Burma’s Rakhine State, banning their and their immediate families’ travel to the United States.
On Tuesday June 26, 2019, USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava and Deputy Director of Research and Policy Tina Mufford presented highlights about religious freedom in Burma through a webinar, the second in a series looking at select countries covered by USCIRF's 2019 Annual Report.
WASHINGTON, DC -- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today called on the U.S. government and the international community to pursue strong policy responses, including the continued use of targeted sanctions, to hold accountable members of Burma’s military, security forces, and some nonstate actors for severe human rights and religious freedom violations against Burma’s Rohingya Muslims and other religious and ethnic communities.
WASHINGTON, DC — Responding to the recent announcement by the governments of Burma and Bangladesh that repatriation efforts for Rohingya Muslim refugees will begin next month, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga, who visited Burma last year, cited evidence of continued atrocities committed by the Buddhist-majority Burma as one of several reasons the announcement is premature.
It has been more than a year since Burmese authorities began a brutal campaign terrorizing, sexually assaulting, and killing mainly Rohingya Muslims, leaving burned villages and corpses in their wake; more than a year since more than 700,000 fled across the border to Bangladesh. Despised for being both ethnically and religiously different, Rohingya Muslims are considered by Burma's military and many of the majority Buddhist population as outsiders illegally residing in the country with the goal of spreading Islam across the land.