Delivered by Mr. Muhib Ullah of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPHR), with the support of FIDH.
I want you to Imagine something this morning. Imagine you have no identity, no ethnicity, no country. Nobody wants you. How would you feel? This is how we feel today as Rohingya.
For decades we faced a systematic genocide in Myanmar. They took our citizenship. They took our land. They destroyed our mosques. No travel, no higher education, no healthcare, no jobs.
Over 120,000 Rohingya still live in concentration camps in Myanmar. Others, outside, live in fear of violence.
In 2017, the Myanmar government drove out eight hundred thousand Rohingya to Bangladesh. They burnt our houses and took our land. They gang raped women and girls. And they killed thousands of us.
Today we are branded Kalar. They call us Illegal immigrants, Bengalis, Muslim terrorists. We are not any of these. We are citizens of Myanmar. We are Rohingya.
We are not stateless. Stop calling us that. We have a state. It is Myanmar.
So, we want to go home to Myanmar with our rights, our citizenship, and international security on the ground.
For one year, the UN and the international community had countless discussions about Rohingya. You talk about our future, but we are not part of these discussions.
The UN has said that the National Verification Card (NVC) is a good system. It is not. It is a tool of genocide. We do not accept the NVC.
Also, we do not accept the MoU on repatriation. Nobody asked our opinion. But the UN signed it anyway.
Today, at the Human Rights Council, it is for the first time the international community includes us in your discussions.
This is what we want. You must include us in your discussions. We can speak for ourselves. We are for Peace. We are for Human Rights.
Today, when this meeting is over, everybody will go back home. I have no home to go back to. When I leave Geneva, I return to the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. I go to my shelter made of tarpaulin and bamboo. I invite you to come and visit me in my shelter.
Come and visit the one million Rohingya refugees like me. Come and explain to us about the discussions you are having about us. Or, include us and listen to us.
Thank you, Sukria.
View this original statement HERE.