China, Russia support for Myanmar shameful: UN rapporteur

UN rapporteur says after Cox's Bazar visit 

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 15:00, Jan 23,2020 | Updated: 00:57, Jan 24,2020


UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee addresses a press conference in Dhaka on Thursday, January 23, 2020. — Shahidul Islam Chowdhury

United Nations special rapporteur Yanghee Lee on Thursday termed ‘shameful’ the support UN Security Council members China and Russia continued to Myanmar.

‘It is shameful for the states’ to support extreme violation of human rights in Myanmar, she told a press conference in Dhaka on the last day of her five-day concluding visit to Bangladesh.

She urged the two countries visit Cox’s Bazar to understand the magnitude of Rohingya crisis. ‘Just come and look at Cox’s Bazar to see it was not fabricated or fake news.’

The UN special rapporteur said that global fashion brands should ‘demonstrate respect to human rights in line with the UN principles’ as the justice system in Myanmar failed to protect rights of the garment workers.

Lee said that she found the justice system in Myanmar ‘ineffective, incapable and unwilling to ensure justice’ on rights of the people in general, ethnic minority communities and garment workers in particular.

She said that China should demonstrate respect for human rights, justice and accountability as the country was willing to be a global leader.

Lee also said that an international ad-hoc tribunal should be constituted for ensuring accountability of people found involved in the genocide and human rights violation in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

She said these hours before the top UN court, International Court of Justice, issued a ruling imposing provisional measures on Myanmar in the case on alleged genocide in Rakhine State. 

Mentioning about her last visit to Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar for two days from January 19, she said that Rohingyas reiterated their ‘deep desire to return home’ subject to creation of situation conducive for their sustainable return with their rights as citizens of the country and with dignity.  ‘Conditions remained unstable’ in western and northern parts of Myanmar due to armed conflicts, Lee said.

Lee added that she would submit final report on Myanmar human rights situation to the UN Human Rights Council in March although the government continued to restrict her access to the country.

More than 7.40 lakh Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by the Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 1.2 million, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh authorities.

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