The United Nations human rights expert on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on February 19 on a six-day visit to see Myanmar nationals who fled from persecution in Rakhine State to Bangladesh.
She will visit both Myanmar refugees and undocumented nationals of the country in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar, officials said.
An estimated 69,000 Rohingyas fled indiscriminate killings, rape, arson and violence in Rakhine State and entered Bangladesh in last four months since October 9, 2016, according to the UN.
From January 9 to 21, Lee visited places in Myanmar including Rakhine State where minority Rohingya Muslims have been facing systematic and institutionalsed discrimination by successive governments over decades.
‘I must remind again that these attacks took place within the context of decades of systematic and institutionalised discrimination against the Rohingya population,’ she said in a statement from UN Human Rights Office in Geneva after the visit.
About 33,000 registered refugees of Myanmar and 3,00,000 undocumented Myanmar nationals fled atrocities in Rakhine State and living in shoddy cramp houses, including in registered camps, in Cox’s Bazar for years, as the Myanmar authorities passed an exclusionary law in 1982 denying citizenship and fundamental rights to the minority Muslims living in Rakhine State for generations, making them stateless.
Repatriation of Rohingyas has not taken place since 2005 due to Myanmar’s unwillingness to take back the refugees and undocumented Rohingyas who entered Bangladesh fleeing persecution of the ethnic minority group in Myanmar since 1978.
Lee, a South Korea national, is a professor at Sungkyunwan University.
She would hold meetings with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and other government officials before and after her visit to Rohingya camps.
The special rapporteurs are independent human rights experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to address either specific country
situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organisation. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
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