Human rights group urges action in Rakhine State

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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 00:00Mizzima

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has urged the government and the Central Committee for Implementation of Stability and Development in Rakhine State to urgently implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Investigation Commission in the strife-torn region.

In a statement released in state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar on May 8, the rights group called for “just and effective actions to be taken in accordance with law against the perpetrators of the acts of violence that had occurred; steps to be taken to build mutual trust for the physical and mental rehabilitation of the victims”.

It also recommended a special children’s education program in the affected areas to build “mutual trust”.

The Rakhine Investigation Commission’s report released on April 29 recommended doubling security forces in the state, for Myanmar to “immediately” resolve Rohingya’s citizenship status and recognize the basic human rights of those deemed stateless.

On Monday, President Thein Sein pledged to uphold the rights of Muslims and to establish a harmonious society for all Myanmar citizens in a speech to the nation.

On May 1, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Tomás Ojea Quintana expressed concern at the Rakhine Commission’s lack of recommendations to address impunity and ensure investigations into “credible allegations of widespread and systematic human rights violations targeting the Muslim community in Rakhine State.”

He did, however, welcome “some forward-thinking recommendations” by the Investigation Commission into communal violence between Rakhine Buddhists and members of the Muslim Rohingya community in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State last year which left at least 200 dead and 140,000 homeless.

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