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Asean must support the Rohingya community

August 9, 2012

FMT LETTER, From Proham, via e-mail

Proham views with deep concern the plight and suffering of the Rohingya stateless minority Muslim community in Mynamar.

There is sufficient evidence of decades of human rights violation, discrimination, persecution, denial of citizenship and non-recognition as an ethnic group. Rohingya’s also do not have access to formal education and healthcare services. They face hardships and suffering in the hands of Mynamar authorities.

Proham calls on the Mynamar government to take immediate steps to stop the persecution of the Rohingyas and find immediate solutions to these pressing issues. It is imperative that the Mynamar authorities establish an independent National Human Rights Commission to resolve the long standing problems associated with minorities in compliance with UN human rights conventions and instruments.

While Malaysia is not a State Party to the 1951 Convention and its Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, Malaysia has however cooperated with the UNHCR in addressing international refugee issues on humanitarian grounds.

Therefore Proham calls on the Malaysian government to ratify the convention and also review its position on the Rohungya refugees in Malaysia so as to ensure that their rights are protected and they have access to basic services.

Proham urges all the Asean Heads of State and the Asean Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to ensure specific intervention strategies and mechanisms are in place in Mynamar to resolve these violations with a sense of urgency.

In this context Proham appeals to AICHR to establish a fact finding team comprising representatives of members of National Human Rights Commissions in Asean including human rights civil societies and academics to prepare a status report for the Mynamar authorities with specific intervention strategies and programs to resolve these issues.

Issued on behalf of Proham by Simon Sipaun, Hamdan Adnan, Ramon Navaratnam, Michael Yeoh and Dr Denison Jayasooria (Proham Secretary–General)


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