UN urged Myanmar to grant Rights to Rohingya Muslims

Nov 20, 2013 13:30 IST

The UN General Assembly’s human rights committee on 19 November 2013 passed a resolution urging Myanmar to give the stateless Rohingya minority equal access to citizenship. The committee also asked Myanmar to crack down on violence against them and other Muslims in Myanmar.

The resolution also expressed "concern about remaining human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detentions of political activists and human rights defenders, forced displacement, land confiscations, rape and other forms of sexual violence and torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."

In the resolution, the 193-nation committee reiterated its serious concern about communal violence and other abuses of the Rohingya minority in Rakhine State of Myanmar. The UN resolution, which will move to the full UN General Assembly, acknowledged "the scale of the reform effort undertaken" so far in Myanmar.

Background

Myanmar emerged from a half-century of military rule in 2011, but its transition to democracy has been marred by sectarian violence that has left more than 240 people dead and sent another 240000 fleeing their homes, most of them Rohingya Muslims.

In 1982, Myanmar passed a citizenship law recognising eight races and 130 minority groups — but omitted the nation’s 800000 Rohingya, among Myanmar’s 60 million people.

Many Myanmar Buddhists view the Rohingya as interlopers brought in by British colonialists from modern-day Bangladesh, but many Rohingya say they have lived in the country once known as Burma for hundreds of years.

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