Tell Congress: We Demand Justice for the Rohingya | Physicians for Human Rights

Tell Congress: We Demand Justice for the Rohingya

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It’s been two years since the Rohingya people faced unspeakable violence and unimaginable atrocities at the hands of the Myanmar military. And yet, none of those involved in these crimes against humanity have been brought to justice. Clear medical evidence through forensic evaluation and interviews conducted by PHR supports these accounts of brutal violence. Add your voice now and demand Congress support the BURMA Act of 2019, which calls for immediate protection of the Rohingya and accountability for crimes committed. Thank you for your action today.

Your Message
Pledge your support for the BURMA Act
Dear Representative

I write to join Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in supporting accountability for atrocities committed against the Rohingya people of Myanmar (also known as Burma) and to encourage you to vote in favor of bipartisan legislation proposed by Rep. Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Chabot (R-OH), H.R. 3190, the BURMA Act of 2019. Passage of the bill will be a crucial step that Congress can take to address the human rights atrocities in Myanmar and hold those who have perpetrated violence against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities accountable.

The PHR network has extensively documented atrocities perpetrated by agents of the Myanmar state, including the military forces known as the Tatmadaw who targeted the Rohingya Muslim minority group in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. In a survey of 604 leaders from Rohingya hamlets in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – encompassing 916,000 people – 88 percent said violence had occurred in their community, with 91 percent of those saying people in their communities were beaten or injured with weapons, 55 percent saying people were shot, and 28 percent saying people were raped/sexually assaulted. Fully 90 percent of Rohingya leaders surveyed identified Myanmar’s Border Guard Police and 87 percent identified Military/Tatmadaw as perpetrators of violence in the attacks on Rohingya villages. The attackers burned down homes, mosques, and farmland and massacred thousands. Clear medical evidence through forensic evaluation and interviews conducted by PHR supports these accounts of brutal violence.

The State Department’s own 2018 report, “Documentation of Atrocities in Northern Rakhine State,” parallels PHR’s findings regarding forms of violence and those responsible for atrocities against the Rohingya minority. After surveying more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, the State Department report concluded that the violence against Rohingya in Rakhine State was “extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out Rohingya residents.”

The bipartisan BURMA Act seeks “to authorize humanitarian assistance and impose sanctions with respect to human rights abuses in Burma [Myanmar].” Importantly, it includes language to:

• Ensure equal rights to all people of Burma and safe and voluntary repatriation for those who have been displaced;
• Sanction persons in Burma responsible for human rights abuses under the Global Magnitsky Act
• Prohibit United States military assistance to Burma;
• Provide humanitarian assistance for Fiscal Year 2020 to Burma, Bangladesh, and other entities to support the Rohingya and other minority groups displaced due to the attacks; and
• Direct the State Department to issue a report documenting crimes against humanity, genocide, and serious human rights abuses in Myanmar.

As a concerned citizen who has reviewed the documentation of these appalling atrocities against the Rohingya, I strongly urge you to support the BURMA Act of 2019 and vote to pass this important piece of legislation. It is essential that Congress take strong action to protect the Rohingya and other minority groups against further violence in Myanmar, to hold those responsible for the violence accountable, and to ensure the safety and human rights of the displaced Rohingya minority.

[First Name] [Last Name]