News

07.06.2015

ROHINGYAS - 12 ONG européennes réclament une enquête internationale

Statement by Members of the European Burma Network

For Immediate Release Sunday 7th June 2015

International investigation needed into human rights violations against Burma’s Rohingya

Monday 8th June marks the third anniversary of a new wave of large-scale violence against Burma’s Rohingya ethnic minority. The violence left hundreds dead and displaced more than 140,000 people.

The crisis with thousands of Rohingya refugees stranded at sea as they flee Burma is a stark reminder that Burmese government policies of repression, and restrictions on international humanitarian assistance have continued since these attacks. The international community has failed to act to address the root causes of this crisis.

What began as communal violence three years ago in June 2012, with killings of members of both ethnic Rakhine and ethnic Rohingya communities, quickly evolved into widespread and systematic attacks against the Rohingya. Further violent attacks took place in October 2012. Human rights violations documented include killing of Rohingya men, women and children, rape, beheadings, stabbings, beatings, mass arrests and villages and neighbourhoods burned to the ground.

In a report released in April 2013, ‘Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya
Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State’, Human Rights Watch concluded that “the criminal acts committed against the Rohingya and Kaman Muslim communities in Arakan State beginning in June
2012 amount to crimes against humanity carried out as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing.”

In their February 2014 report, ‘Policies of Persecution’, Fortify Rights obtained leaked official documents which provide evidence that human rights violations against Rohingya result from official state policies and could amount to the ‘crime against humanity’ of persecution.

In April 2014 Tomás Ojea Quintana, at the time the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma, stated that government policies towards the Rohingya may constitute crimes against humanity:

“the pattern of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Rakhine State may constitute
crimes against humanity as defined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
He believes that extrajudicial killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention,
torture and ill-treatment in detention, denial of due process and fair trial rights, and the forcible
transfer and severe deprivation of liberty of populations has taken place on a large scale and has
been directed against the Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State.”

The situation facing the Rohingya is so severe, that experts on genocide have warned that the early
warning signs of genocide are present.

The overwhelming evidence indicates that human rights violations against Rohingya in Burma violate international law and may constitute crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

The international community’s response so far to the crisis facing the Rohingya has been to call on
the government of Burma to investigate the situation. However, the government in Burma has taken no serious steps to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for committing crimes against humanity. It has either failed to act or flatly refused to act. There is no indication whatsoever that this situation is likely to change.

A Burmese government committee established to investigate the violence in Rakhine State in 2012 failed to address who was responsible for the violence, and there has still not been any credible investigation. The government itself has supported policies and practices that endorse and encourage violence against the Rohingya. Those inciting anti-Rohingya violence are still allowed to operate with impunity. There remains a complete lack of justice and accountability.

Given that there is no political will or desire from the government of Burma, or from opposition political parties in Burma to address this, it is the responsibility of international governments to intervene to support an investigation, which is then established by a body of the United Nations.

It is essential that the current impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of these most serious crimes is ended.

As a vital first step, an international investigation is needed to begin the process of applying international law and addressing both the human rights violations being committed and the laws and policies that have helped to underpin the violence and oppression of the Rohingya. The only way any credible investigation will take place is for the international community to conduct one.

We call upon European countries to publicly support the establishment of such an inquiry, and work through the United Nations and other international bodies to build support for the establishment an inquiry.

Signed by

Actions Birmanie
Assoc Suisse-Birmanie
Building Social Democracy in Burma - A project under ASD Sweden
Burma Action Ireland
Burma Aktion (Germany)
Burma Campaign UK
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Info Birmanie
Norwegian Burma Committee
Society for Threatened Peoples
Swedish Burma Committee

 

20150607_Statement by members of the European Burma Network.pdf

20.05.2015

ROHINGYAS - 33 organisations internationales humanitaires et de plaidoyer ont écrit aujourd’hui au Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies

33 organisations internationales humanitaires et de plaidoyer ont écrit aujourd’hui au Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies, pour l’exhorter à accorder « toute son attention » à la crise humanitaire qui sévit dans l’État d’Arakan en Birmanie et à « prendre personnellement la tête» de négociations pour autoriser l’accès humanitaire à toutes les zones de l’État d’Arakan.

Dans une lettre ouverte à Ban Ki-Moon, les ONG citent le Sous-Secrétaire général aux affaires humanitaires des Nations Unies, Kyung-hwa Kang, qui déclarait, après avoir visité les camps de déplacés internes de l’État d’Arakan en juin 2014 : « J’ai été le témoin d’un niveau de souffrance humaine dans les camps de déplacés que je n’avais jamais vu auparavant… des conditions [de vie] épouvantables… un accès plus qu’insuffisant aux services essentiels tels que la santé, l’éducation, l’eau et le système sanitaire ».

Ces mots font écho à ceux du Secrétaire général adjoint aux affaires humanitaires, la baronne Amos, qui a déclaré, après avoir visité les camps en 2012 : « J’ai vu de nombreux camps durant mon mandat, mais les conditions [de vie] dans ces camps sont parmi les pires. Malheureusement, nous, les Nations Unies, ne sommes pas en mesure d’y accéder et d’accomplir le travail que nous aimerions effectuer auprès de ces gens, les conditions [de vie] sont donc effroyables… C’est une situation désastreuse et nous devons faire quelque chose pour y remédier. »

Actuellement au moins 70 pourcent des rohingyas n’ont pas accès à l’eau potable ou à des services sanitaires. Dans le canton de Maungdaw, il y a un seul médecin pour 160 000 personnes. L’organisation mondiale de la santé recommande au moins 1 médecin pour 5000 personnes. Seulement 2 pourcent des femmes rohingyas donnent naissance dans un hôpital.

Dans leur lettre, les ONG déclarent : « alors que la crise est la plus aiguë dans les camps, il est important de noter que près de 800 000 rohingyas, qui vivent en dehors des camps, ont des besoins urgents d’assistance. Dans certaines zones, le taux de malnutrition est au dessus de 20 pourcent et la fourniture de services de santé est presque inexistante. »

Elles arguent également qu’« il est également essentiel, que l’aide humanitaire ne soit pas seulement apportée aux rohingyas mais à tous ceux qui en ont besoin. L’État d’Arakan est le deuxième État le plus pauvre de la Birmanie, 44 pourcent de la population vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté – soit près de 20 pourcent de plus que la moyenne dans la plupart du pays. »

Les ONG concluent leur appel en rappelant les efforts de Ban Ki-moon à la suite du désastre humanitaire causé par le cyclone Nargis. Ils écrivent : « Monsieur le Secrétaire Général, en 2008, suite à l’épouvantable crise humanitaire liée au cyclone Nargis, le régime birman refusait l’accès aux organisations internationales humanitaires. Vous avez, personnellement, pris en charge l’effort de la Communauté internationale pour en négocier l’accès et vous avez réussi. Par conséquent, des centaines de milliers de vies ont pu être sauvées. Nous croyons que la crise dans l’État d’Arakan requiert une réaction similaire, nous vous exhortons, donc, à prendre, personnellement, la tête des négociations avec le gouvernement birman, en faveur d’un accès humanitaire vers toutes les zones de l’État d’Arakan, pour qu’une aide humanitaire soit apportée à toutes les personnes qui en ont besoin, indépendamment de considération de race ou de religion. Des centaines de milliers de personnes, qui n’ont que peu de nourriture, médicaments ou refuges et qui ont été dépouillées non seulement de leur citoyenneté mais également de leur dignité fondamentale, comptent sur vous et les Nations Unies pour les aider. Nous vous demandons de ne pas les décevoir. »

Cette déclaration est signée par les organisations suivantes :

Actions Birmanie (Belgium)

ALTSEAN- Burma

Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network

Association Suisse-Birmanie

Avaaz

Building Social Democracy in Burma (A project under ASD Sweden)

Burma Action Ireland

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Partnership

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Equal Rights Trust

FIDH / International Federation for Human Rights

Fortify Rights

Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART)

Human Rights Watch

Info Birmanie (France)

Institute for Asian Democracy

International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London

Norwegian Burma Committee

Partners for Relief and Development

Pax Christi Australia

Physicians for Human Rights

Quilliam Foundation

Refugees International

Restless Beings

Rohingya Community Ireland

Society for Threatened Peoples (Germany)

Swedish Burma Committee

Social Democratic Students Burma Project (SDS)

SHARP-Pakistan

United to End Genocide

US Campaign for Burma

20150520_Lettre BKM FR.pdf
20150520_LETTER BKM.pdf

20.04.2015

Burma/Myanmar’s Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee Needs Urgent Reform

On the eve of the first anniversary of the death of U Win Tin, 20 organisations today call for urgent reform of Burma/Myanmar’s Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee.

On 21st April, people around the world will be wearing a blue shirt or blue clothing in memory of U Win Tin, who served nearly 20 years in jail as a political prisoner. U Win Tin famously pledged to wear a blue shirt, the same colour shirt he had to wear in prison, until all political prisoners in Burma were released. #‎blueshirt4burma

U Win Tin, a journalist and founding member of the National League for Democracy, was one of Burma/Myanmar’s longest serving political prisoners, describing his time in jail from 1989 until 2008 as living in hell.

On the first anniversary of the death of U Win Tin, at least 173 political prisoners remain in Burma/Myanmar’s jails, with a further 316 activists awaiting trial. The number of political prisoners has risen by almost 600 percent since the start of 2014.

Despite hundreds of political prisoners being released from 2011 to 2013, repressive laws remain in place, and new repressive laws, such as the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, have been introduced. These laws are being used by the government to intimidate, arrest and jail political activists and peaceful protestors. President Thein Sein did not keep his promise to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013. A new committee formed by the government of Burma/Myanmar to address the issues of political prisoners, the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee, excludes key civil society organisations, including the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma, the main organisation which works on political prisoner issues.

Fundamental reforms to the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee are needed if it is to start to address the decades-long problem of political prisoners in Burma/Myanmar.

We call for ten key reforms to the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee.

A reformed Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee should:

1. Review the cases of all those charged or deprived of their liberty simply for the peaceful exercise of their human rights, with a view to securing their release and having the charges against them dropped;

2. Review all laws used to charge and detain political prisoners, and recommend to Parliament the repeal or amendment of all such laws to bring them in line with international human rights law and standards;

3. Formulate and present recommendations to the relevant authorities aimed at ending the abuse of the criminal law to fabricate criminal charges against individuals for politically motivated reasons;

4. Ensure that all conditions attached to the release of political prisoners are lifted;

5. Provide support and assistance to former political prisoners and their families by ensuring that they have effective access to restitution, compensation, assistance in gaining access to education and employment opportunities and other forms of rehabilitation to enable them to resume a normal life.

6. Share with the public its mandate, its terms of reference, and operational procedures, and publish regular activity reports;

7. Be properly resourced, receive appropriate support and co-operation from government offices, and be given access to prisons, prisons’ records and the authority to question relevant state officials;

8. Invite a sufficient number of additional members to join the Committee who are selected according to objective and relevant criteria, including their independence and expertise in human rights issues, so as to ensure that the Committee overall has adequate gender and ethnic representation, as well as expertise on gender issues and children’s rights. The Committee should be comprised of a wide range of stakeholders, including former political prisoners and their representatives;

9. Ensure resources are provided to build the human rights capacity of Committee members and seek technical assistance and advice from external experts in this regard;

10. Ensure the Committee’s programme of work is developed in consultation with former political prisoners, their families and representatives, and takes into account the different experiences of women and men.

The greatest tribute to the memory of U Win Tin would be to achieve his dream of the release of all political prisoners in Burma/Myanmar. We believe these reforms to the Committee would be a positive step towards achieving that goal.

Signed by

Actions Birmanie

All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress (AASYC)

Altsean-Burma

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) AAPP

Association Suisse-Birmanie

Burma Action Ireland

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Link

Burma Partnership

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Fortify Rights

Forum for Democracy in Burma

Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)

Info Birmanie

Inter Pares

Network for Democracy and Development

Norwegian Burma Committee

Students and Youth Congress of Burma

Swedish Burma Committee

US Campaign for Burma

 

 

01.10.2014

Echec des autorités birmanes !

Les autorités birmanes ont échoué à implémenter la plupart des recommandations  contenue dans la résolution 68/242 adoptée en 2013 par l'Assemblée des Nations Unies.

Consultez ici le rapport établi par l'ALTSEAN sur leur site : 

Developments After the 2013 UNGA Resolution.pdf

01.06.2014

Reportage « Armes business et inégalités : la guerre oubliée de l’Etat Kachin en Birmanie »

Il y a exactement 3 ans, l’armée birmane a rompu un accord de cessez-le-feu conclu 17 ans plus tôt avec l’Armée Indépendante Kachin (KIA), la seconde armée non étatique du pays, et a lancé son offensive la plus importante depuis la fin des années 1940.

Depuis la reprise des combats, le 9 juin 2011, plus de 120 000 personnes ont été forcées de fuir leur maison et ont été déplacées. Au moins 200 villages ont été détruits.

Le reportage ci dessous, réalisé par l’organisation Burma Partnerhip en 2013 revient sur les raisons et les conséquences de ce conflit.