Despite heartening news of political reforms in Burma, recurring violence and looming humanitarian crises raise questions of the government’s ability and willingness to protect civilians.
United Nations officials and independent human rights groups have reported evidence of direct state complicity in ethnic cleansing and severe human rights abuses, blocking of humanitarian aid and incitement of anti-Muslim violence, constituting ominous warning signs of genocide.
Rohingya Muslims forced from their homes and living in camps
Susceptible to state-led mass killing
Rohingya have fled Burma by boat since 2012
Not Just a Name, A People at Risk of Genocide
The 1.3 million Rohingya have been denied citizenship and stripped of all rights. They are forced to live in Apartheid conditions where they cannot travel, work or even marry without permission. Over 140,000 were forced into concentration camps after their homes and villages were burnt to the ground in 2012, and remain there today.
The government of Burma denies their very existence, prohibiting the use of their name and pressuring foreign officials not even to utter the word Rohingya. According to Burma’s President Thein Sein, “There are no Rohingya” in Burma.”
As Burma’s government persecutes the Rohingya and denies their existence, the precursors to genocide are loud and clear.
Obama to Host Burma's Leaders With Rohingya in Peril
On February 15th, the government of Burma, along with its Southeast Asian neighbors, will come to the United States to meet with President Obama.
But the hope of a new government led by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party masks a darker story in Burma – the continuing persecution and threats of genocide against the Rohingya minority.
140,000 Rohingya still live in makeshift camps as virtual prisoners. 1.3 million Rohingya are denied basic rights, including access to jobs and healthcare. Dangerous hate speech continues to flourish. And stark warnings of genocide have been issued. Yet, officials in Suu Kyi’s party have said that addressing the plight of the Rohingya will not be a priority of the new government.
Sign the petition and ask President Obama to let Aung San Suu Kyi, and all of Burma’s leaders, know that sanctions will remain in place until persecution and the threat of genocide against the Rohingya ends.
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