WASHINGTON, DC — In response to a report released yesterday by United Nations-commissioned investigators concluding that the sexual violence committed by Burmese troops against Rohingya Muslims and others –abuse that is still ongoing in some parts of Burma— is an indication of the military’s genocidal intent, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Vice Chair Nadine Maenza and Commissioner Anurima Bhargava issued the following statements:
“The evidence of unspeakable atrocities against Rohingya Muslims and others at the hands of Burma’s military continues to grow. We call on the administration to change the designation to genocide or crimes against humanity,” said Maenza. “We also call on the administration and Congress to be vocal leaders, calling for additional targeted sanctions against Burma’s military leaders and their financial interests. These atrocities should not be tolerated.”
“The UN-commissioned report details the military’s systematic and widespread campaign of sexual and gender-based violence as part of its organized effort to destroy the Rohingya Muslim population,” said Bhargava. “The brutal and horrific sexual violence endured by hundreds of girls and women – largely through gang rapes perpetrated by the Burmese military – cannot continue to remain unaddressed. The United States and the international community must put the path for justice and accountability into place immediately.”
As the August 25th second anniversary of the Burmese military crackdown approaches, USCIRF calls for a host of sanctions against — and action by — the Burmese government to ensure the safe return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or Kellie Boyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-703-898-6554.
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