On Thursday 20 December, Rushanara Ali MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy in Burma and the Rights of Rohingya, called on the Government to apply greater pressure on the Burmese military and government to protect Rohingya Muslims.  

Members of Parliament debated the following motion for a three-hour period:

“That this House is deeply concerned by the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing Rohingya refugees; agrees with the findings of the UN fact-finding mission that genocide and war crimes have been carried out against the Rohingya by senior Burma military figures; calls on the Government to pursue an ICC referral for Burma through the UN Security Council; and further calls on the Government to put pressure on the United Nations to prevent the repatriation of the Rohingya from Bangladesh to unsafe conditions in Burma and to continue to provide assistance to Rohingya refugees.”

Speaking in the chamber, Rushanara said:

“The UN fact-finding mission concluded that the Burmese military were responsible for “consistent patterns of serious human rights violations and abuses, in addition to serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

It made concrete recommendations that the Burmese Military “should be investigated and prosecuted in an international criminal tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

And yet so little has been done, in practical terms, to solve the crisis, provide safety and security for the rohingya people, and bring those responsible to justice.

The United Kingdom has a unique responsibility towards Burma. We must use all of our relationships, forged over many centuries, to argue for a peaceful settlement to the crisis.

We must continue to campaign for the Burmese military to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The international community must not allow them to get away with the slaughter, rape, torture and displacement of the Rohingya people on such a scale that it constitutes genocide.”

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