Briefing Note: Myanmar – Questions and Answers on Human Rights Law in Rakhine State

Introduction

More than 600,000 inhabitants of northern Rakhine State have been displaced since 25 August 2017 as a result of security operations commanded by Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, which followed attacks on police posts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). This mass movement of people has substantially added to the pre-existing populations of displaced persons from Myanmar both in Rakhine State and in neighboring Bangladesh, resulting in a major humanitarian crisis, amid reports of widespread human rights violations by security forces and human rights abuses by ARSA and non-state actors. The vast majority of persons displaced are Rohingya Muslims, most of whom have crossed to Bangladesh, while tens of thousands remain displaced in Myanmar.

Statements and reporting on this crisis have included the use of both legal and non-legal terminology to assess and describe the situation. The following Questions & Answers briefing note from the International Commission of Jurists clarifies some of the applicable national and international law and standards.

This briefing note is based upon both independent legal research and a review of public information and reporting on Rakhine State and neighboring Bangladesh, which is a situation that is evolving on a daily basis. A draft advance version of this briefing was prepared on 18 October 2017, and subsequently updated with minor revisions. The below analysis is based upon information publicly available at the time of finalization on 7 November 2017. This briefing is available in Burmese language; the original version is in English language. The authors of this briefing note appreciate the advice and information shared by those who helped inform the development of this briefing note.

Download full briefing in English HERE.

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