BRUSSELS: Attending the round-table discussion on “the Rohingya Crisis: the EU’s role to prevent ethnic cleansing and stateless” in European Parliament, Brussels, Rohingya activists raised the steps that the EU needs to take in stopping the atrocities being perpetrated on Rohingya by Myanmar Military since August 25, 2017.
“Today is an important opportunity to address the EU policymakers in the context of the ASEM (Asia-European Meeting) Summit (held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar). We were pleased to see clear cross-party support amongst MEPs (Members of European Parliament) for our calls – and in highlighting the desperate situation faced by the Rohingya community; including the systematic use of rape and executions by the Burmese military – in full view of the international community,” Dr. Ambia Perveen, Vice-chairperson of the European Rohingya Council (ERC) started out the panel briefing.
She called the EU and the international community “to take clear steps, including through targeted sanctions against military officials” and “demand immediate access for a UN Fact-finding Mission to Myanmar and provide support to help alleviate this urgent humanitarian crisis”.
In regards to the “gravity of the crimes being committed”, Dr. Ambia Perveen also called the EU for “a clear and unequivocal response” on the atrocities by using the term – “Genocide”, employing a trade embargo and temporarily freezing of all the EU projects until the civilian government and the military accept Rohingya as citizens under their right to self-identification term – “Rohingya”, placing a conditional financial assistance to Myanmar and providing an immediate supervision on the talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh in the repatriation process of Rohingya refugees.
Speaking at the discussion, Mr. Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) warned the danger of repatriation of Rohingya refugees “without a clear international-led comprehensive approach” due to the shocking nature of genocide on the ground.
Despite the EU’s “well-intended support for the bilateral repatriation agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh”, he said the repatriation “carries risks given Bangladesh’s history of forced repatriation”, and urged “High Representative Federica Mogherini and other European leaders to speak out clearly on the Myanmar military’s role in creating this crisis, and Europe must not allow this horrific campaign of genocide to become normalised”.
Mr. Kyaw Win, Executive Director of UK-based Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) said that Myanmar has crossed the red line by committing genocide against Rohingya, and condemned the excuse of international community on “Democratic reforms in Myanmar” for its “inaction against genocide”.
“The plight of the Rohingya is only the tip of this regime’s brutality, and that without decisive international actions, including by the EU, any prospects of ending the crisis will be far-fetched,” reminded Mr. Kyaw Win.
He urged the EU partners to set a precedence in stepping “their efforts on accountability, including calls for ICC (International Criminal Court) referral, but also non-ICC options such as support in documenting and processing evidence of human rights crimes for future accountability and justice.”
The entire event on November 21 was co-hosted by Independent Diplomat and the Netherlands Mission. The discussion was hosted by Ana Gomes, Member of European Parliament, followed by a meeting with EU diplomat from Asia and human rights organizations which in-turn was hosted by the Netherlands Mission.