International Organizations Urge Burma/Myanmar Govt: Stop the Hate

Thirty-four international, regional and national organisations working in solidarity for human rights and democracy in Burma/Myanmar have signed a joint statement calling on the government to address growing intolerance, in the wake of the shocking assassination of prominent Muslim lawyer and activist U Ko Ni at Rangoon International Airport 10 days ago.

The organizations include those based in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the USA that are actively involved in trade union, human rights, minority rights, media freedom , refugee, women, peace and humanitarian aid movements.

In addition to calling for the establishment of an urgent, independent and impartial investigation into the murder, the statement also urges the government of Burma/Myanmar to implement the Rabat Plan of Action to prohibit advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred, including enactment of a law to see effective action on hate speech and discrimination. U Ko Ni had previously campaigned for such a law.

The statement will be distributed to Burmese diplomatic missions and national governments of the countries that signatories are based in.

Full text of the statement and list of signatories below.

For Media enquiries:

Australia and Pacific:
Kate Lee, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA
Tel: + 61 420 293 083. Email: klee@apheda.org.au

Americas:
Simon Billenness, International Campaign for the Rohingya
Tel: +1 617-596-6158. Email: simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

Europe:
Mark Farmaner, Burma Campaign UK.
Tel +44 7941239640. Email mark.farmaner@burmacampaign.org.uk

Asia:
Debbie Stothard, ALTSEAN-Burma
Tel: + 66816861652. Email debbie@altsean.org

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As Civil Organisations dedicated to supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition and a lasting peace inclusive of religious and ethnic minorities in the country, the assassination of NLD legal advisor and prominent Muslim U Ko Ni in at Rangoon International Airport on 29 January 2017 comes as a shocking blow.

As a key legal advisor to the NLD on constitutional reform U Ko Ni played an extremely important role in advancing the struggle for greater democratic reform and the move towards federalism in Myanmar. He was also a powerful example of the valuable contribution Myanmar’s Muslim community makes to the nation. His assassination has sent shockwaves across the international human rights community. Such a tragedy is a tremendous loss for everyone in Myanmar and our thoughts go out to his family.

In our world of growing xenophobia and religious hatred and intolerance, it is crucial that this tragic event is not used to drive further division inside Myanmar. In the face of this, we call on the NLD led Government to take the following actions:

1. Arrange an urgent, independent and impartial investigation into the murder.

2. Recognise the insidious influence that anti-Muslim elements are having in Myanmar society and assert the religious and ethnic equality of all people in the country, including the persecuted Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

3. Commit to national implementation of the Rabat Plan of Action which would prohibit advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, including in U Ko Ni’s own words, to enact a law to see effective action on hate speech and discrimination.

In addition to these actions we repeat the call for a UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the atrocities in Rakhine State. We call for UN members states to move forward on a CoI before the situation deteriorates any further.

Only a truly united Myanmar, free from religious and ethnic discrimination and persecution, can achieve the lasting peace, stability and progress that we all long for.

1. Action Committee for Media Freedom  mediafreedomlk.com

2. Actions Birmanie birmanie.net

3. ALTSEAN-Burma altsean.org

4. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)

5. Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect r2pasiapacific.org

6. Association Suisse-Birmanie birmanie.ch

7. Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce acrt.com.au

8. Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) http://acfid.asn.au/

9. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) actu.org.au/

10. Burma Action Ireland burmaactionireland.org/

11. Burma Campaign UK http://burmacampaign.org.uk/

12. Burma Link burmalink.org

13. Burma Task Force (USA) burmamuslims.org/

14. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK http://brouk.org.uk/

15. Christian Solidarity Worldwide csw.org.uk

16. European Rohingya Council theerc.net/

17. FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights fidh.org

18. Fortify Rights fortifyrights.org

19. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) (FBC(SA)

20. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect globalr2p.org/

21. Info Birmanie info-birmanie.org/

22. Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) iidnet.org/

23. International Campaign for the Rohingya rohingyacampaign.org

24. International state crime Initiativestatecrime.org/

25. Justice Trust justicetrust.net/wordpress/

26. Norwegian Burma Committee (NBC) burma.no/

27. Odhikar http://odhikar.org/

28. Partners Relief and Development Australia partners.ngo/au/

29. Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign facebook.com/PenangStopHumanTrafficking/

30. Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney) refugeeaction.org.au/

31. Rohingya Community Ireland facebook.com/IRISHROHINGYA/

32. Society for Threatened Peoples -Germany gfbv.de

33. . Campaign for Burma http://uscampaignforburma.org/

34. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA apheda.org.au

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