UN to investigate crimes against Myanmar Rohingya

UN to investigate crimes against Myanmar Rohingya

A boy sits in a burnt area after fire destroyed shelters at a camp for internally displaced Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine State near Sittwe, Myanmar May 3, 2016. (Reuters photo)
A boy sits in a burnt area after fire destroyed shelters at a camp for internally displaced Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine State near Sittwe, Myanmar May 3, 2016. (Reuters photo)

GENEVA -- The United Nations named a trio of independent experts on Tuesday to investigate widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture by Myanmar security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.

The international fact-finding mission will be chaired by Indira Jaising, an advocate of the Supreme Court of India, the president of the UN Human Rights Council said in a statement.

The mission will seek access to Myanmar, where the army last week rejected allegations of abuses during a crackdown last year which forced some 75,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. The UN urged the government to "fully cooperate" by making available the findings of its domestic investigations and by "granting full, unrestricted and unmonitored access".

The two other members are Radhika Coomaraswamy, a human rights veteran and lawyer from Sri Lanka, and Australian activist Christopher Sidoti, said the UN statement, issued after private consultations within the 47-member state forum.

The Council agreed to set up the fact-finding mission last March in a resolution strongly condemning violations and calling for ensuring "full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims".

A UN report in February said Myanmar's security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes in a campaign that "very likely" amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing. The report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was based on extensive interviews with Rohingya survivors in Bangladesh.


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