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Rohingya Genocide Officially Recognized

PRESS ADVISORY

For Immediate Release

Contact: Adem Carroll adem@justiceforall.org

202-922-JUST

Rohingya Genocide Officially Recognized:

Burma Task Force Commends Secretary of State for His Action.

[Chicago, March 21, 2022) Today, after years of delay during two presidential administrations, the US Government formally recognized the Rohingya genocide that has caused so much disruption and suffering. Burma Task Force appreciates that despite numerous global crises, Secretary of State Blinken has taken this necessary if belated step. The US government should now more effectively emphasize accountability and justice.

A program of the Human Rights Advocacy NGO Justice for All, Burma Task Force is marking its 10th year anniversary as an advocate for Rohingya rights. We were one of the first organizations to clearly call the crisis a genocide. From the start, it was clear to our leadership that the scale and scope of ongoing persecution has been genocide-level. Tragically, despite many warnings from human rights advocates like ourselves, the international community failed to prevent the slaughter and mass displacements of 2016 and 2017. International leaders also failed to prevent the brutal 2021 coup perpetrated by the same military responsible for oppressing the Rohingya minority, burning their villages and seizing homes and lands.

“Burma Task Force has warned about this genocide for over ten years now. Rohingya have been successfully targeted by the Burmese military because this small Muslim minority was demonized by Buddhist religious leaders on social media,” stated Imam Malik Mujahid, who founded Burma Task Force in 2012. “We appreciate the formal announcement of genocide, however the US government must remember that the genocide treaty calls for prevention and punishment. In India today, we see the same very dangerous dynamic play out with Hindu leaders and we have a opportunity to prevent genocide there.”

Imam Mujahid added: “Now, over a million Rohingya are still displaced in refugee camps in Bangladesh, with few rights and very limited educational and employment opportunities. They feel deeply that their future has been stolen. We ask President Biden to pressure the Bangladesh government to remove all bans on education.

In the absence of justice in Burma, international courts are currently examining the mass atrocities and mass displacement perpetrated by Burmese troops. The new determination should lead to more support for such mechanisms as the IIMM investigation authorized by the United Nations. Burma Task Force has worked to collaborate and share evidence with such justice efforts. Sadly, these will take years to come to fruition.

“Martin Luther King reminded us that “justice delayed is justice denied,” stated UN Programs Director and Burma Team Lead Adem Carroll. “How will Rohingya return to their homeland? Will another generation be left behind, uneducated? The US government has generously donated to Rohingya refugees but must also show stronger resolve in policy and not defer so much to nations with weaker human rights traditions. The world’s failure to rein in the genocidal Burmese military emboldened the generals to attack democracy itself. The people of Burma now support strong sanctions against military leaders and their interests. Major Western oil and gas companies recently announced they will finally depart from the country. In accordance with the overwhelming vote in the UN General Assembly last fall, nations like India, China and Russia must stop selling arms to the junta.”

For more information: Adem Carroll Adem@justiceforall.org

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An NGO with Consultative Status at the United Nations (DGC) Justice for All is nonprofit organization based in the United States. Since 2012, our program Burma Task Force has advocated for Rohingya rights and accountability in Burma. www.BurmaTaskForce.org

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