Bishop of St Albans asks about civil and human rights of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar

St Albans 2On 4th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from the Government, in reply to two questions about persecuted people in Myanmar:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL530 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the Rohingya people’s civil and human rights are being upheld in Myanmar.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (ii) HL532 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of attacks against Chin people in Myanmar.

(i) Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The recent UN Fact Finding Mission report is clear that the situation is dire for the 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State. The British Government is clear that Rohingya in Myanmar continue to be at serious risk of human rights violations, including mass killings, sexual and gender-based violence and human trafficking. We are particularly concerned at restrictions on freedom of movement, religious belief and access to education. This situation has been exacerbated by the conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military.

We continue to push the Government of Myanmar to fully implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, in order to improve conditions for all those who living in Rakhine State. Baroness Sugg raised this with senior government figures in Rakhine on her recent visit.

(ii) Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: ​The UK is concerned by reports of attacks against the Chin people and missing Chin residents as a result of serious clashes between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military. This conflict has now displaced tens of thousands of people, with civilians caught in the middle. We call on both sides to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue.