Humanitarian Law Group Calls For Tribunal On Violence Against Rohingya

The humanitarian rights law group was contracted by the State Department to investigate possible human rights violations against the Rohingya.
Posted at 5:03 PM, Dec 03, 2018

A U.S. based humanitarian rights law group is calling for the immediate creation of a criminal tribunal to further investigate violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, calling it "genocide" in some instances.

The Public International Law and Policy Group, or PILPG, was contracted by the State Department to look into the ongoing conflict.

In a 105 page report out Monday, the group said "that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes have been committed against the Rohingya."

For some background: The latest wave of violence against the Rohingya started in August, 2017, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to nearby Bangladesh. Roughly 700,000 Rohingya currently live in overcrowded camps there. Repatriation plans were scrapped in November after officials couldn't find anyone who wanted to return to Myanmar.

The PILPG said it interviewed more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees and, "identified more than 13,000 instances of documented grave human rights violations." 

The report said Rohingya were persecuted for their religion, had their land taken from them, were forced into labor, beaten, raped and murdered.

The PILPG says because Myanmar's government is involved in these acts, the international community has a responsibility to protect the Rohingya. It calls for "the urgent establishment of an accountability mechanism" and to hold those accountable for their crimes.

Myanmar has repeatedly said Rohingyas attacked security forces, forcing them to retaliate. And leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the military was right to react the way it did against "terrorists."