Burma Campaign UK today called on British MPs to back the genocide amendment of the trade bill, which will be voted on by MPs tomorrow, Tuesday 9th February.
The lack of any significant response to the genocide of the Rohingya by the military will have increased their sense of impunity and encouraged them to believe they could get away with a coup without facing significant consequences from the UK and other countries.
Following genocide of the Rohingya, the only action taken by the British government has been to ban 16 soldiers from taking holidays in the UK. A UN Fact-Mission Mission, established with UK support, described what happened to the Rohingya as genocide. They stated this genocide had not ended, and in fact was ongoing genocide.
Despite this, the British government has still not accepted that genocide has taken place against the Rohingya.
“The British government says it is up to international courts to decide whether genocide has taken place, but at the same time it refuses to support international courts making that determination,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The government has refused to join the genocide case at the International Court of Justice and has not said it supports referring Burma to the International Criminal Court.”
Based on 30 years of experience in promoting human rights in Burma, Burma Campaign UK is convinced that ending impunity is critical to addressing the human rights crisis in the country. Enabling a British court to make a determination of genocide will be an important step towards ending the impunity currently enjoyed by the Burmese military and other regimes committing international crimes.
“Russia and China don’t just have veto power over resolutions at the UN Security Council, they currently have veto power over the UK response to genocide, as the UK cannot act independently in making a determination of genocide,” said Anna Roberts. “We urge any MP who supports human rights and democracy in Burma to back this amendment and give us another tool to defend human rights.”