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Inhumanity: Rohingya Persecution
By Tah Neen – is a member of Academia.edu
The Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar’s Rakhine state have suffered serious and persistent human rights abuses. The Rohingya persecution becomes widespread issue for the last four years. The pattern of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Rakhine State may constitute crimes against humanity as defined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Extrajudicial killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in detention, denial of due process and fair trial rights, and the forcible transfer and severe deprivation of liberty of populations has taken place on a large scale and has been directed against the Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State.
These human rights violations are connected to discriminatory and persecutory policies against the Rohingya Muslim population, which also include ongoing official and unofficial practices from both local and central authorities restricting rights to nationality, movement, marriage, family, health and privacy. Legal analysis considers whether the ongoing attacks on and persecution of the Rohingya Muslim population in Myanmar constitute genocide. This analysis does not conclude definitively whether genocide is occurring. Such a conclusion would require a full and independent investigation by an appropriately authorized institution with investigatory powers and provisions for the accused to respond to allegations
The term Rohingya is derived from the word “Rohang” which is an old name for Rakhine. Hence the term Rohingya has come to mean Muslim from Rakhine State.The Rohingya are an ethno-religious minority group from the Rakhine region, formerly known as Arakan, which today is encompassed within the borders of Myanmar and is adjacent to Bangladesh. There is an estimated population of between one and 1.5 million Rohingya in Rakhine State (Human Rights Council: April,2014).
Much of the population is concentrated in the three townships of North Rakhine State – Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung – where the Rohingya are in the majority. ( Other smaller minority communities of Rohingya are scattered throughout Rakhine State. To a large extent, Rohingya have been contained in Rakhine State, through successive government policies. However, small numbers of Rohingya have settled in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, and other places in Myanmar.
The Rohingya have historical, linguistic and cultural affiliations with the local populations of Rakhine State, as well as with the Chittagongian people across the border in Bangladesh. Thought to be descended from Muslim traders who settled there more than 1,000 years ago. They also draw their cultural heritage from diverse Muslim populations from the Persian and Arab world that passed through or settled around the important trading hub along the coast of Rakhine State over the centuries. The Rohingya trace their ancestral roots in the Rakhine region back several centuries – since long before Myanmar came into existence as the clearly demarcated post-colonial nation-state of today. These roots also go back to long before racial and ethnic categories became settled in accordance with those that are recognized in today’s Myanmar. Despite this, the history of the Rohingya and their Muslim ancestors is today largely rejected in Myanmar. The Rakhine region and its ancient historical sites are of important cultural significance to Myanmar’s Buddhist populations. Historical analyses have, thus, tended to focus primarily on the Rakhine region’s Buddhist past, as opposed to its multi-faith and multiethnic past. Histories of the Islamic influences in Rakhine State have largely been viewed with suspicion in Myanmar. The Rohingya’s are deprived from fundamental rights and throughout military rules, the local government enacted increasingly repressive law against Rohingya are given below:- 1) Denial of Citizenship; 2) Forced Displacement ; 3) Forced Labor ; 4) Religious Persecution; 5) Arbitrary Detention ; 6) Marriage Restriction and population control ; 7) Sexual Violence ; 8) Deprivation of Right to Education. There are other rights that Rohingya people are deprived of like attainable standard of health, right to work and resulting vulnerabilities, liberty and security, legal status, equality, access to adequate housing and others fundamental rights to survive.