Convention on Rohingya raises awareness on human rights violations and lack of accountability
By Genocide Watch
9 July 2014
On June 21, 2014, the Burmese American Muslims Association hosted a conference that addressed the “enormity of violence against Rohingya and Burmese Muslims, the largest and deadliest conflict in Burmese history,” according to their website.
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, President of Genocide Watch, spoke at convention and offered his thoughts on the human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
“This violation of fundamental human rights, this denial of citizenship is at the very heart of the violation of human rights of the Rohingya,” Stanton said. “Without citizenship, no human being can enjoy the basic rights that are guaranteed to every person under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Tom Andrews, President and CEO of United to End Genocide, also spoke at the conference.
“People need to know,” Andrews said after recommending Nicholas Kristof’s articles and videos on the Rohingya. “We need to get the word out. We’ve got to get these stories out. We’ve got to get this message out. People have to become aware..and secondly, action needs to be demanded. We need to take and confront that ‘good news’ narrative that has been so pervasive in Washington and we need to break it apart with the reality of Burma today.”
Matthew Smith, another speaker at the conference is the founder and executive director of Fortify Rights. Fortify Rights is a new organization that conducts “independent human rights monitoring and advocacy, which involves documenting human rights violations, conducting strategic advocacy” and providing “technical support to human rights defenders.”
Smith spoke about the Genocide Convention and restrictions placed on the Rohingya.
“These days the focus with respect to the Genocide Convention is less about a plan and it’s more about a pattern,” Smith said. “But still the easiest way to prove intent to commit genocide would still be to show how the group has already been destroyed and obviously that’s not good enough.”
The speakers also answered questions from audience members.
The information for the conference is below:
Deliberately launched for so-called racial purification of “Burmese blood”, nationalist movement spearheaded by monk Wirathu is orchestrating brutal campaigns of hate speech, expulsion, persecution and atrocity. As the current state of fear mongering and lack of global condemnation provide these killers with both a cover and an excuse, the crimes are justified with familiar arguments about the need to defend the home-land.
We seek to identify and understand how state-sponsored programs of violence and atrocity function. Who are involved and in what ways? What motivates those people to behave as they do? How—through what processes—do large numbers of people, some of them “ordinary,” some less so, become murderers of larger numbers of ethnic people? Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana (United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur on Myanmar) recently spoke up about ongoing segregation, restriction on healthcare and “pattern of systematic discrimination”.
No acts of revenge or restitution could make up for the deaths of thousands, the annihilation of Rohingya life in much of Burma, the destruction of property, and the shattering of trust and coexistence. Nevertheless survivors have to begin new lives, and for that they require at least minimal material resources, some acknowledgment of their suffering, and a measure of confidence in the world around them.
Join with other local activists, scholars and concerned international diplomats at the conference, and discuss the patterns of genocide and prevention methodologies. We have reserved 600+ large hall and it is open to public.
• Dr. Gregory H. Stanton – President of Genocide Watch
• Matthew Smith – Executive Director of Fortify Rights
• Tom Andrews – President of United to End Genocide
• Dr. Wakar Uddin – Director General of All Rohingya Union
• Naama Haviv – Assistant Director of Jewish World Watch
Featured Image: Courtesy of Nicole Sganga / The New York Times
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