Jordan, September 12, 2017
Rohingya situation textbook example of ethnic cleansing: Prince Zeid

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said urged Myanmar to end the 'cruel military operation' against Rohingya Muslims 'with accountability for all violations that have occurred and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population'.

Delivering the opening statement at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Prince Zeid said: 'Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed, but the situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing'.

The high commissioner said the operation, which is ostensibly in reaction to attacks by militants on Aug 25 against 30 police posts, is 'clearly disproportionate and without regard for basic principles of international law.' 'We have received multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians,' the commissioner added.

Prince Zeid criticized the Myanmar government and asked them to 'stop pretending that the Rohingyas are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages.' 'This complete denial of reality is doing great damage to the international standing of a government which, until recently, benefited from immense goodwill,' he declared.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights strongly urged the authorities to allow his office 'unfettered access' to Myanmar. He also encouraged Bangladesh to maintain open borders for the Rohingya refugees.

He also urged the international community to stand by Bangladesh for better management of Myanmar's Rohingya refugees.

'I deplore the current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country,' Prince Zeid said.