Press Releases

Rohingya campaign condemns violence

Press Release. 2nd April 2017

What the Rohingya have suffered, and continue to suffer on a daily basis, is reprehensible and criminal. Both the United Nations and independent human rights investigators have documented severe and systematic atrocities that amount to an organized campaign of genocide by the government. The oppression and abuses the Rohingya face have made them the most persecuted minority in the world. Their daily life is a miasma of horror, humiliation, and brutality.

While there is no question that international law, and indeed, common sense, uphold the right of self-defense, and the unspeakable crimes suffered by the Rohingya may drive some segments of the community to seek to protect themselves through armed resistance; nevertheless we firmly believe that this path can never lead to a solution in Myanmar. On the contrary, taking up weapons will only exacerbate the crisis and provide the military with a pretext to intensify the repression and escalate ethnic cleansing operations.

The #WeAreAllRohingyaNow campaign condemns the recent statements by the self-appointed leader of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army as reckless and self-destructive, and call upon that group to renounce violence and to instead work in coordination with the peaceful strategies being undertaken by international activist organistations to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya and to restore their citizenship rights. We ask the Rohingya community both inside Myanmar and in the diaspora, to similarly reject the call to arms, and to persevere on the path of nonviolent struggle.

International sympathy and support for the Rohingya has been steadily increasing in recent years, and strategies are currently being activated, as well as humanitarian efforts, to address the short, medium, and long term needs of the community. Any shift towards violent insurgency will irreparably sabotage these initiatives and plunge Arakan into conditions far worse than what has proceeded. The capability of outside organizations to intervene will be severely hindered, and international sympathy will evaporate.

We respect the right of the oppressed to determine for themselves how best to confront their oppressors, but we cannot sanction strategies and tactics that can only have the predictable result of facilitating the genocide and immeasurably worsening the conditions on the ground. We call upon all representatives of the Rohingya community to agree to unequivocally reject the destructive path of violence and to commit with us to the effort for a peaceful resolution.


For more information, please contact:

Jamila Hanan: @jamilahanan

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