Statement 354 Views

Human Rights Council: On the HC Report on Myanmar, LAW Statement

September 26th, 2023  •  Author:   Legal Action Worldwide  •  2 minute read
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26 September 2023

Mr. Chairperson, distinguished representatives, colleagues

We thank the High Commissioner for his report.

Today, I am speaking on behalf of Jaheda Begum, a 25-year-old Rohingya refugee working as a Survivor Advocate with Legal Action Worldwide in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Jaheda along with her colleagues, has been advocating to secure justice and accountability for the serious crimes faced by Rohingya in Myanmar, in particular during the 2017 “clearance operations”.

Please hear Jaheda’s message:

“We have repeatedly shared our stories with the world – the indiscriminate killing of our family members, the torture, and the sexual violence committed by the Myanmar military. We demand justice for these horrific crimes we have endured. This is not only a question of accountability for the past – survivors in my community continue to face physical, psychological, and social consequences due to the violence perpetrated against us.

We must return home with our rights and citizenship. However, the conditions for our safe and dignified return to Myanmar do not yet exist.”

On behalf of all the Rohingya victims and survivors, I call on member states:

  • To actively support the ongoing investigations by various bodies and their contributions to international proceedings including before the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
  • Ensure robust witness protection is the need of the hour here in Cox’s Bazar for those participating in the legal efforts against Myanmar military.
  • Create a space for an active Rohingya participation in justice proceedings, with immediate attention to creating pathways to deliver reparations.

Horrific crimes continue to take place in Myanmar. Two years since the February 2021 military coup, the Myanmar military persists with arbitrary arrests, sexual violence, torture and murder of thousands of civilians. Impunity perpetuates the ongoing systematic patterns of violence.

Thank you for your attention.

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