Declaration on the Rohingya people
Meeting of the SI Council in Barcelona, 24-25 November 2017
The SI Council reiterates the call of the SI Presidium, made from the United Nations in New York in September of this year, for an end to violence against the Rohingya people in Myanmar, and condemns the persecution suffered by this minority. The continued restrictions placed on access to the conflict zone for aid agencies and representatives of the UN are a clear indication of attempts to cover up the reality of the atrocities that have been committed in an attempt to forcibly remove the Rohingya from their homes and villages. There is overwhelming evidence of systematic violations of human rights and serial persecution on the grounds of ethnicity in Rakhine province, and those responsible must be held accountable. This ethnic cleansing has led more than 600,000 refugees to flee across the border into Bangladesh.
The SI has previously called for the right of return for those forced to leave the country, and though a recent pact allows for the repatriation of some of the Rohingya, it is meaningless without an end to the repression that has been imposed upon them for decades. The right of return must therefore be accompanied by the suspension of military action and allowing of the delivery of humanitarian aid by the UN and other international organisations. Without these, there is no guarantee that those who return to their home will not continue to suffer discrimination at the hands of those who forced them from their homes, and perpetrated heinous acts of violence. Until the Rohingya are safely able to return to their homes in Myanmar, those who have crossed into neighbouring countries must be assured of humanitarian assistance and given all necessary support to rebuild their lives.
The SI Council reiterates the responsibility that the government of Myanmar has towards the Rohingya minority, which must no longer be denied fundamental rights. The Burmese leadership must open a full dialogue to address minority rights and the need of the Rohingya to be recognised and respected as full citizens of Myanmar.