Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma

stalbans190117-bOn the 20th February 2017, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question about the Government support for a UN inquiry into human rights abuses in Northern Rhakine.

Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report Interviews with Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016, whether they will support the UN in setting up an inquiry into human rights violations against the Rohingya.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We have called repeatedly for an independent investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Rakhine. The UN High Commissioner for Human rights has already issued a substantive report on the widespread and alarming level human rights violations carried out by the military Rakhine State since 9 October. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma also referred to them in her briefing following her visit in January. Her full report is due out in March ahead of the Human Rights Council, at which we will advocate for a full renewal of her mandate. In the light of the two reports we will also consider, with our EU and international partners, what scope there is for further enhancing scrutiny of the military’s actions in Rakhine

We support the Rakhine Advisory Commission led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which is due to report in the summer. This has the support of the Burmese Government and the international community, and therefore represents the most realistic way forward.

In the meantime, we strongly urge the Burmese military to show restraint and to permit humanitarian access to the affected areas.


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