The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) chief, Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein, has criticised Myanmar and militia groups there for their treatment of the Rohingya Muslims due to which more than 300,000 people have fled to Bangladesh in the past three weeks.
“The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein told the UNRC in Geneva yesterday, noting that the current situation cannot yet be fully assessed since Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigators.
According to the UN News Centre information here, Zeid cited reports of Myanmar authorities laying landmines along the border with Bangladesh and requiring returnees to provide “proof of nationality,” an impossibility given that successive Myanmar governments have since 1962 progressively stripped the Rohingya population of their political and civil rights, including citizenship rights.
The latest security operation in Rakhine state follows attacks by militants on 25 August against 30 police posts.
The High Commissioner called the response “clearly disproportionate” and “without regard for basic principles of international law,” and said the Government should “stop claiming that the Rohingyas are setting fire to their own homes and laying waste to their own villages