LETTER TO FEDERICA MOGHERINI
EU LEADERS MUST DO MORE TO STOP ATROCITIES AGAINST ROHINGYA
December 7, 2017
BRUSSELS: A collection of Rohingya civil society activists and NGOs which focus on human rights in Myanmar, have sent a joint letter to the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini and all the EU Foreign Ministers calling for further EU action to bring an end to the violence in Myanmar. The letter coincides with the EU Parliament’s plenary discussion on what the EU should do to end the violence against the Rohingya.
Dr. Ambia Perveen, Vice Chairperson for the European Rohingya Council, said “This letter is being sent at a key moment when the EU’s attention is on Myanmar and the plight of the Rohingya. Not only will the EU Parliament Plenary take place on Monday 11 December to discuss the dire situation, High Representative Mogherini and all the EU Foreign Ministers have recently returned from the ASEM meeting in Myanmar. During this trip Mogherini visited Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, whose number now exceeds 626,000. She has seen with her own eyes the desperate situation the Rohingya is facing; she must use her position to call on the international community to do more to end such atrocities.”
Dr Perveen continued: “The EU is an influential global player; it has the capacity to change the situation on the ground and bring together other nations to put pressure on the military in Myanmar. The EU can impose further punitive sanctions and asset freezes against individuals in the Myanmar military responsible for human rights violations. It can also work alongside the international community to allow the UN to play a bigger role on the ground. The EU should work with the wider international community, including the neighbouring countries to Myanmar, to guarantee a UN Fact-Finding Mission is allowed to enter the country. This will allow for any evidence of human rights violations to be collected in a transparent, neutral manner.”
Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, added: “Given the shockingly violent situation on the ground, it’s too dangerous for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees without a clear international-led comprehensive approach. The UNHCR should be allowed to oversee any repatriation programme between Bangladesh and Myanmar to guarantee that any returns include the consent of the Rohingya and is done so voluntarily, and should only take place if it safe for the Rohingya to return.”
The letter intends to highlight that despite several committee meetings and summits, the activists believe the EU is not doing enough and Mogherini should be saying more to condemn the continued violence against the Rohingya. The violence being reported includes mass killing, rape as a weapon of war and the burning down and destruction of entire Rohingya villages. Such events have already been labelled as ethnic cleansing by the UN and US and could amount to genocide.